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Facebook criticized for suppressing Hunter Biden email report

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Following The New York Post‘s bombshell front-page report about the damning Hunter Biden emails that it obtained, the social media site will be “reducing” the article’s “distribution” on its platform.

Andy Stone, who is a Policy Communications Manager at Facebook, late on Wednesday morning tweeted about this move from the social media giant without linking The Post‘s article.

“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,” said Stone. “In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”

“This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation,” the spokesperson added. “We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review.”

Shortly thereafter, The Post published a piece reporting this announcement from Stone.

Also following Stone’s tweet, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sternly asked Facebook for its reasoning and threatened the company, saying that it should “expect a formal inquiry” from his office.

“I want to know on what grounds you are actively censoring a news report about potentially illegal corruption by the Democrat candidate for president,” Hawley warned. “If you have evidence this is ‘disinformation,’ disclose it immediately.”

The Senate Homeland Security Committee, which Sen. Hawley sits on, announced on Wednesday that it has launched an investigation into these revealing emails published by The Post.

RELATED: Senate committee to investigate new Hunter Biden emails

Furthermore, one of President Donald Trump‘s 2020 campaign Twitter accounts claimed that, because of this action, “Facebook is actively interfering in the election” and “is rigging the election for Joe Biden.”

Across the board, commentators, political figures, and journalists alike—predominantly conservative ones—have denounced the move, accusing Facebook of censorship. Here are what many of them had to say:

https://twitter.com/esaagar/status/1316407160050520065
https://twitter.com/Surabees/status/1316411062103703553

Facebook, and other social media platforms, have come under fire in recent years for allegedly allowing misinformation, fake news, and conspiracy theories spread by its users to flourish on the site.

Both Twitter and Facebook have subsequently made efforts to stymie the spread of such content, especially during the 2020 election. Conservatives have universally decried these efforts, seeing them as outright censorship of conservative figures and outlets.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Elections

BREAKING: IL judge orders state election board to remove Trump from primary ballot

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Cook County Judge Tracie Porter issued a lengthy ruling Wednesday which orders the state election board to remove former President Donald Trump from the Illinois primary ballot on March 19. Porter wrote Trump is disqualified from the presidency due to his actions relating to the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Porter said she was aware her “decision could not be the ultimate outcome,” given that higher courts will have a chance to weigh in; she also put her order on hold until Friday in anticipation of an appeal.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the State Board of Elections voted unanimously last month to reject the same bid to block Trump from Illinois’ ballot under the 14th Amendment. But Porter found the board’s decision to be “clearly erroneous.”

The 14th Amendment bars from “any office, civil or military, under the United States” anyone who previously took an oath as an “officer of the United States” to support the Constitution but then engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.”

Trump’s lawyers have told the U.S. Supreme Court the amendment doesn’t apply because the president is not an “officer of the United States” under the Constitution and because he did not engage in “anything that qualifies as ‘insurrection.’”

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the “U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule on the controversy soon — and appeared skeptical of the arguments to kick Trump off Colorado’s ballot. The clock is ticking on the nation’s high court given that Colorado’s primary election is Tuesday.” Porter also said her order would be put on hold if the Supreme court’s ruling is ultimately “inconsistent” with hers.

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