by Ashe Schow, Daily Wire:
A news story that likely would have been ignored by the mainstream media and quickly disappeared from conversations became a flashpoint this week when social media companies rushed to censor it on their platforms.
The story appeared damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The story, published by the New York Post, included emails showing Biden’s son Hunter allegedly introducing his father, who was at that time Vice President, to a Ukrainian energy executive where Hunter worked – a year before Biden demanded Ukraine fire the country’s top prosecutor who was looking into the company.
TRUTH LIVES on at https://sgtreport.tv/
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone admitted that the social media platform would censor the content until it could be fact checked – acknowledging this is routinely done for certain stories.
“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, 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,” Stone said on Twitter. “This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review.”
Twitter soon followed suit, disabling “potentially harmful” links to the Post story and locking the accounts of anyone who posted it, including the White House press secretary and Trump’s campaign account. It even added a label to a government website. Twitter went further than Facebook, however, when it tried to explain why it had blocked the Post link. This is where blatant double standards came into play. Twitter claimed the Post story violated its Hacked Materials Policy, even though it doesn’t appear as though the emails and photos in the Post story were hacked. Rather, it appears they were discovered on the hard drive of a computer left at a repair shop.
Further, Twitter claimed in an official tweet that its policy “prohibits the use of our service to distribute content obtained without authorization,” claiming the platform doesn’t “want to incentivize hacking by allowing Twitter to be used as distribution for possibly illegally obtained materials.”
Astute readers may recognize that just a few weeks ago, The New York Times illegally obtained President Donald Trump’s tax returns and published a report on them. Twitter did not block links to the article nor did it temporarily ban accounts that distributed the link. The Times may have avoided this by not publishing the documents it obtained, but based on Twitter’s history of bias against conservatives, it seems impossible that the link would have been blocked even if the Times did publish the materials.
As I reported at the time, the Times acknowledged that it received the tax records from sources authorized to view them, but those sources were not authorized to leak them. Doing so is illegal.
The label appended to the GOP’s House Judiciary website – a .gov address – provided four bullet points as to why the link contained a warning. The first three make it appear as though clicking the link would have caused actual harm to users, while the fourth bullet – the one in which the link actually fell – was incredibly vague. The warning claims the link could have been blocked for being “malicious links that could steal personal information or harm electronic devices,” “spammy links that mislead people or disrupt their experience,” or “violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm.” The actual category the link fell under said: “certain categories of content that, if posted directly on Twitter, are a violation of the Twitter Rules.”
Twitter later said the censorship of the House GOP website was done “in error,” the same excuse they use whenever right-leaning content is censored. It should be noted that these “errors” always seem to go one way.
When it comes to Twitter’s claims that the information in the Post story was hacked, even the Biden campaign didn’t make such an allegation. The campaign at first claimed Biden’s official schedule showed no nefarious meetings with his son’s employer, but the campaign later admitted that Biden may have had an “informal interaction” with the energy executive.