October 14, 2020

Facebook criticized for suppressing Hunter Biden email report

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:

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.

Share