Conservative and progressive journalists alike have expressed outrage over Twitter’s apparent censorship of an explosive New York Post report about Joe and Hunter Biden, but some mainstream media members appear to side with the tech giants Wednesday.
The Post obtained a 2015 email indicating that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, thanked Hunter Biden for “giving an opportunity” to meet his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden.
The current Democratic nominee has previously said he has “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
Wednesday afternoon, both Facebook and Twitter began cracking down on the spreading of the article on social media.
“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,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone tweeted Wednesday. “In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”
Twitter claimed in a statement that it had taken action against the article in keeping with the company’s “Hacked Materials Policy.”
“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,” a spokesperson said. In practice, Twitter users were unable to share a link to the Post story, either on their public pages or via direct messages.
There is currently no indication that the emails obtained by the Post were hacked.
That didn’t stop Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler from sharing his paper’s policy on “hacked or leaked material” ahead of an election, which outlines extreme caution for its journalists to report on such material from other outlets.
“Be [careful] what is in your social media feeds,” Kessler wrote.
MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin went even further, urging his followers not to share the article since, as he suggested, is “disinformation.”
“No one should link to or share that NY Post ‘report’. You can discuss the obvious flaws and unanswerable questions in the report without amplifying what appears to be disinformation,” Griffin wrote.
Griffin went on to defend Facebook after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., accused the tech giant of “actively censoring” the Biden report.
“This is not censorship. Facebook is under no obligation to allow a disputed report that appears to contain disinformation to spread on their platform,” Griffin responded to the senator.
Mother Jones D.C. bureau chief David Corn struck a similar tone, but labeled the New York Post’s reporting as “Russian disinformation” in a tweet promoting his own article on the Biden report.
“I explain how the NY Post embraced and promoted Russian disinformation with its supposed Biden bombshell. Will the rest of the media do better?” Corn asked.
White House reporter Andrew Feinberg defended Twitter from critics who called out journalists for their apparent silence on the suppression of the Post report while sounding the alarm on various tweets from President Trump.
“The guy sending tweets is head of the executive branch & has, per court records, inspired at least one person to mail bombs to news outlets. Twitter is a website & is enforcing a policy it announced *checks notes* over two years ago. Clearly, these are exactly the same,” Feinberg wrote.
The Biden 2020 presidential campaign responded to the Post story on Wednesday, saying the former vice president “carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing,” and that “Trump administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.”
The Pozharskyi email was obtained by the Post from a computer hard drive left at a Delaware-based tech repair shop.
Fox News has not yet independently verified all of the materials cited in the Post’s report.
Fox Business’ Audrey Conklin, Paul Conner, and Nick Givas contributed to this report.
Media members pressure social media users not to share New York Post’s Hunter Biden report The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Fox News.