Facebook and Twitter limited the distribution of a New York Post article about Hunter Biden on Wednesday, NPR reports.
The Post reported that it obtained Hunter Biden’s hard drive, which he ostensibly left at a repair shop and never picked up, from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
The report claimed, falsely, that a Ukrainian prosecutor whose firing was urged by Joe Biden (and many western nations) had planned to investigate Burisma, where Hunter sat on the board. In reality, numerous officials testified under oath that the prosecutor was fired for not investigating Burisma.
The story included emails allegedly sent by Hunter Biden to associates, including one in which they discussed a meeting with Joe Biden. Biden’s campaign claims no meeting ever happened.
Facebook and Twitter crack down:
Facebook limited the distribution of the story as fact-checkers reviewed the story, while Twitter blocked users from linking to the story at all.
Twitter said the story violated its doxxing policy by including personal information, including email addresses and phone numbers in images, and its “Hacked Materials Policy.”
“The policy, established in 2018, prohibits the use of our service to distribute content obtained without authorization. We don’t want to incentivize hacking by allowing Twitter to be used as distribution for possibly illegally obtained materials,” the social network said.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted the company’s handling of the issue was “not great.”
“Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great,” he wrote. “And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”
Trump, who has long accused social networks of bias, complained that it was “terrible” that the social networks “took down the story.”
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley sent letters to Facebook and Twitter demanding they testify before his committee.
The Biden campaign disputed the story:
"Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as 'not legitimate' and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump administration officials have attested to these facts under oath,” campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said.
“This is a Russian disinformation operation,” Biden adviser Michael Carpenter told Politico. “I’m very comfortable saying that.”