Facebook and Twitter blocked users from sharing a recent New York Post article that made claims about Hunter Biden shortly after it was published on Wednesday.
According to the story, Hunter Biden, son of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden was allegedly found to have business dealing with a Ukrainian energy company. The story went to say that the former vice president had personally met with an adviser of the company.
This story which Reuters did not confirm contained details to emails that were reportedly given to the lawyer of Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney. If memory serves you right, then you can remember that this was part of what kickstarted the move to try and impeach President Trump late last year.
This whole saga did cause a frenzy on these social media platforms with users asking why Twitter and Facebook would do this. Twitter prohibited users from posting links to the story. On the other hand, Facebook reduced how often the story pops up in users’ news feed or anywhere else on the site.
Twitter has blocked users from tweeting the New York Post story link and from sending the link via direct message to other users.
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) October 14, 2020
Some users id defend the move by Twitter, saying that the article violates some of its policies.
This is what I found. I didn't proceed. It says there my be malware. It also says it violates tweeter rules if posted directly.
Rudy should be put in twitter jail. pic.twitter.com/D1ptbCkhVb
— Bonnie?BlueBell??? (@BonnieBlueBell1) October 14, 2020
But it looks like censoring the story might have even raised more suspicion from Americans on both the Democratic and Republican sides.
We have seen social media platforms lately take serious actions against any false information shared concerning the U.S. 2020 elections. Even President Trump has been on the wrong end of this having his tweets flagged as false or even totally hidden from the timeline.
This one though would raise concerns of whether these tech companies are siding with one of the candidates which would not be a good thing for anyone.
Twitter did come out saying that the story violated its “hacked materials” policy. This bars the distribution of content obtained through hacking that contains private information or trade secrets. The company did not go to provide details on what materials were viewed as hacked in the article.
We want to provide much needed clarity around the actions we’ve taken with respect to two NY Post articles that were first Tweeted this morning.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 14, 2020
It is still uncertain on why Facebook took similar actions as multiple fact-checkers said the company had not done any fact-checking prior.
Nevertheless, the information on the story has circulated widely and there seems to be no way of stopping it at this point.