Twitter users were blocked on Wednesday from sharing the New York Post story critical of the Bidens published just that morning. The decision was based on a never-before-invoked “hacked materials policy” that Twitter announced hours after Facebook had stomped on the same story.
The Post cited emails that appeared to show Joe Biden – then vice president to Barack Obama – had met with Ukrainian Burisma exec Vadim Pozharskyi at the behest of his son and Burisma adviser Hunter Biden, less than a year before the current Democratic presidential candidate allegedly demanded Kiev fire its top prosecutor.
I'm getting this error when I try to click the link to the New York Post Hunter Biden story above. Incredible pic.twitter.com/MR7XK2eS6U
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) October 14, 2020
Twitter “errors” started pouring in just a few hours after Andy Stone, a Facebook executive with a long history of working for the Democratic Party, warned Facebook was “reducing [the Hunter Biden story’s] distribution” on its platform and seemingly invited Facebook’s fact-checkers to tear the story apart.
While Twitter users were able to share the offending Post link for hours after Stone tagged it for destruction, what Twitter lacked in temporal primacy it made up in intensity.
Users who attempted to share the story on Wednesday afternoon were informed they could not retweet the “potentially harmful” link. Unlike typical Twitter warning screens that can be clicked through, the link to the Post story was not even allowed to be posted.
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) October 14, 2020
As speculation swirled regarding the Biden emails, Forbes reporter Jack Brewster posted a statement, allegedly from Twitter, reading that “in line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter.”
NEW: Statement from Twitter spokesperson on limiting Hunter Biden article:
"In line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter. "
— Jack Brewster (@jbruce218) October 14, 2020
While Twitter has outlawed entire domains in the past – most notably Bitchute.com, a YouTube competitor whose exile it partially walked back after widespread protest from users – nothing like the blanket ban on the Post URL has ever been seen before.
Many readers opined that by blocking the URL and deleting the Post’s tweet Twitter had inadvertently confirmed the authenticity of the Biden emails.
The NY Post story was a minor, largely redundant report even if the docs are real.
The extreme act of censorship by tech giants to suppress it, cheered on by journalists, is a major story of historic proportions.
They always had this undemocratic power; today they used it.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 14, 2020
Others merely interpreted the secondhand missive as Twitter throwing its hat in the ring for Biden, deeming the act “brazen election interference.”
I don’t know if the allegations are true—Qs that deserve to be answered.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 14, 2020
Twitter deleted @nypost’s tweet about the Hunter Biden bombshell. This is election interference. We’ve entered the age where we have a "ministry of truth" run by Democrats and only they decide what’s true. They demand that you no longer believe your lying eyes & ears.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 14, 2020
Twitter is now banning users from linking to the bombshell New York Post story about Biden family corruption. This is brazen election interference on behalf of the Biden campaign. pic.twitter.com/9109ipLjjp
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 14, 2020
Meanwhile, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) said he wrote to Facebook to complain about executive Andy Stone’s actions, asking if the preemptive shadowbanning pending fact-checking was “normal” and whether the Biden campaign had played some role in reducing the article’s reach.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
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