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Facebook, Twitter Limit Distribution of Negative Hunter Biden Story

The New York Post dropped a bombshell Wednesday morning.

The report shows a purported email Hunter Biden received from a high-ranking executive at a Ukrainian energy firm thanking him for the introduction to his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, less than a year before the vice president pressured officials to fire a prosecutor for investigating Burisma Holdings. Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email says.

“The blockbuster correspondence — which flies in the face of Joe Biden’s claim that [Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma] has ‘never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings’ — is contained in a massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer,” The Post writes.

Americans will remember that the alleged business dealings between Ukraine and Hunter Biden during his time with Burisma led to the infamous phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The call eventually convinced the House of Representatives to impeach Trump, though the Senate subsequently acquitted the president.

Because it relates to Joe Biden’s actions as vice president, the Post‘s report could have a significant impact on the election, which is less than three weeks away. Yet Big Tech has stepped in and blocked the story’s online distribution.

Facebook has buried the story, claiming that it’s in the midst of fact-checking it.

“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post,” Facebook policy communications manager Andy Stone tweets. “I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact-checked by Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”

As usual, Twitter has taken its power a step further, blocking all links to and images of the story. Twitter is also suspending accounts that tweet the story.

The decision of these tech giants to keep this story from the masses has quickly drawn criticism.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R – MO) sent a letter to Facebook inquiring about the decision.

“The seemingly selective nature of this public intervention suggests partiality on the part of Facebook,” Hawley said in the letter. “And your efforts to suppress the distribution of content revealing potentially unethical activity by a candidate for president raises a number of additional questions, to which I expect responses immediately.”

If reports are proven to be inaccurate, then they should be removed from social platforms. However, this story has been removed before a fact-check is even complete. It also comes from a reliable outlet, which should give it some credibility.

Stone said Facebook is merely following its “standard process,” but if so, then this process is rife with double standards.

Would Facebook and Twitter take down a negative report about Donald Trump, Jr. from The New York Times if a fact-check is incomplete? Is Big Tech fact-checking the anonymous sources of every media outlet? What does a publication like New York Post need to do to avoid such de facto censorship?

Big Tech has long been criticized for taking political stances favoring the left. In fact, Facebook’s Stone has a “history of working for Democrats, including lefty former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,” according to the NY Post.

Many people wonder if Big Tech should be responsible for what is posted on their platforms at all. In May, Trump signed an executive order curtailing the legal protections that have thus far shielded Big Tech from liability for content posted by users.

“They are not utilities. They are not neutral platforms,” Will Cain tweeted on the topic. “They are publishers making editorial choices. And what is their editorial bias? Click through to his profile. They are not hiding it anymore.”

In the spring, Trump called Twitter an “editor with a viewpoint.” Based on what we have seen today, it looks like he’s right.

Last month, Twitter labeled Jason Whitlock’s OutKick column on Katie Nolan “sexist.” Twitter wasn’t quoting criticism leveled by a news source. Some anonymous Twitter employee made the editorial decision that the column was sexist and labeled it accordingly.

Clay Travis explains the problem with Big Tech making such decisions:

“I own OutKick, but I don’t agree with every opinion on this site. That would be impossible. The only person any one person should agree with completely in this country is yourself. (And even then you should have some doubts.) We are, put simply, a media content company.

“That means we can be sued for editorial malfeasance. It means if we defame anyone, we are subject to legal consequences for our actions. We choose, collectively, which stories go up on the site every day and share them with our audience. With that decision comes responsibility under the law.

“That’s how content companies work. Be they newspapers, TV networks or (most) websites.

“But Twitter claims it is different. Twitter claims to be a platform, not a content company. They only share the opinions of others, they argue not their own opinions. Therefore, Twitter argues, they aren’t responsible for the opinions other people publish on their platform. So long as they are a platform, Twitter, unlike OutKick, bears no legal liability for what is posted on its site.

“But Twitter’s not always telling the truth when they claim they are just a platform, in fact they act in many ways that a publisher would on a regular basis.”

Social media platforms, led by Facebook, are more powerful than any individual’s word or message. We learn what we see. We know what we read. We do what we think. Silicon Valley is attempting to control what we see, read, learn and think and therefore what we do. Their level of power should frighten all Americans, regardless of political ideology.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers any news story that deserves attention but focuses on media. His interests include reading Stephen King novels, avoiding traffic on the road, and pretending to solve true-crime mysteries. He still believes Cersei should've won and encourages everyone to always question the news.

22 Comments

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  1. Great read Bobby. This is why we have so many misinformed citizens. They are informed, just from the wrong sources. I love the last paragraph, Silicon Valley is way more powerful than any one branch of our government, and were never voted into any office.

  2. It’s too bad that Republicans in congress as a whole won’t have the balls to do something good for this country and work on regulating these leftist tech conglomerates that own the entirety of the internet. God knows the dems won’t lift a finger as long as they are the sole beneficiaries of Big Tech’s corruption and bias. We might be FUCKED in this country.

  3. Brazen election meddling by Twitter and Facebook. It isn’t even a big shock because they’ve been working up to this for years now by deplatforming right wing commentators under vague allegations of “spreading hate”, locking twitter accounts (always by accident), and setting up in-house fact checking departments (to combat fake news obviously). Censoring legitimate news articles by immediately slapping an “unreliable” tag on them was a natural next step.

  4. Regarding Twitter, I do not follow Biden, Harris, or AOC. For the last week or so, every time I login, one of their tweets is in the first 10 or so in my feed, and then another one from one of the other 2, 5 or so tweets after that. It is absolutely criminal they are able to do this and not held to any ‘fair time’ laws like every traditional media outlet.

  5. Twitter & Facebook’s actions have proved they are a content company, not merely a neutral platform hosting the content of others. Their immunity from legal liability must end now. Sen Josh Hawley and a few others have brought up ending the status quo, yet the tech mob continues to shamelessly ban content for political reasons. Apparently, they’re not too concerned about the politicians on the right whose pocket’s they’ve lined (and certainly not on the left) doing anything about it. This issue will separate the weasel Republicans (who get kickback$ from big tech) from those with a backbone and wish to strip their unfair exemption. Take a close look at those who do something, and those who do nothing. You’ll soon know who have been bought.

    The weasels in big tech’s pocket must be EXPOSED.

  6. I’ve heard people talk about “shadow banning” for a while now, but never really knew it was. I don’t actually have a Twitter account, i just read it periodically. (Mostly sports or James Woods). But I have definitely noticed in the last week plus: when I click on a James Woods tweet it will take me 2 or 3 times of reloading it before it loads. It always gives me some “tweet unavailable” bullshit message the first time.

    And usually you can click on a tweet, and then after a couple replies, it will have a bunch of other people who are also Republicans let’s say in the case of James Woods. But more and more lately I am not finding that not to be the case, it will just be the full list of replies to a certain tweet🤔

  7. There are three major corruption narratives in play: the attempted coup of a sitting President based on the Russia hoax, ongoing Big Tech censorship and election rigging, and the Biden family money for influence peddling schemes, with drug-addled Hunter as the sharp tip of the spear. Actually, now that I think about it, there are four: the corrupt media’s indifference to it all. I grew up during Watergate – this shit makes Nixon look like a rank amateur.

    • Well said. The left (in all areas) is banding together like never before. It’s “all in” to get Trump out. Anything anti-Trump is fair game and anything negative for Biden will be suppressed. The corruption we’ve seen over the past four years including Russia-gate, and now Biden-gate along with Twitter & Facebook’s censorship and suppression is mind-boggling.

  8. My gosh, I know that in recent months quotes from George Orwell’s 1984 have seemingly been exhausted, but the book is frighteningly true to what is playing out before our very eyes. I’ll be damned if I let Facebook, Twitter, etc., be a Group Think for who I am and the decisions I make. And, yes, add Social Dilemma as a documentary also nailing it on the head what is happening today. May this treasonous act be blasted as much as possible through other available mediums before we are doomed on November 3.

  9. I get the WSJ delivered to my door, it’s what us old people tend to do – read the paper in the morning. Anyway, I’m looking for coverage on this story in my morning WSJ and guess what? None. It’s not in there. Not even a whiff of it. The only reason I know I’m not crazy and it did happen is they added half a paragraph about it in the editorial section -but it was hidden. That, to me, is freaking terrifying. Can somebody let me know when did America become China?

  10. we could see this coming 4 years ago when these social media company snowflakes were emotionally fractured when Trump won the Presidency. They were practically in tears. They are bound and determined to do everything they can to keep him from winning a second term. Senate needs to get of their ass and do something to reign these platforms in. They should not be allowed to be an arm of the Demorat party ARGH!!!!

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