On Wednesday of last week, the New York Post released a series of news stories containing emails and photos from the laptop of Hunter Biden, the second-born son of presidential nominee Joe Biden. It was reported that the FBI has been in possession of the laptop since last December and that Trump’s personal attorney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided the New York Post with a copy of the hard drive. Found on the laptop were emails suggesting Joe Biden had shady connections to Hunter’s business affairs with a Ukrainian energy company during his time as vice president. Also found were videos and photos of Hunter Biden engaging in explicit sexual activity and drug use. After the story was released, Facebook initially blocked the Post from publishing it on its platform, citing the need to confirm the story. Twitter went one step further, blocking any shares or links of the stories at all, citing violations of its policies regarding hacked information.
The Post noted that “If journalists were forbidden from distributing ‘content obtained without authorization,’ the majority of the biggest news stories of the past century would be off-limits,” including Watergate – and the tax return information currently circulating about President Trump. Trump referred to reporters as “criminal” for failing to report on the Hunter Biden development. Breitbart News argued, “We are witnessing a breathtaking effort by the Establishment Media and Big Tech to silence, suppress, and censor the biggest foreign cash corruption scandal in modern presidential politics.” Margot Cleveland, senior contributor for The Federalist, wrote, “Hunter Biden’s addiction is not the issue. Joe Biden’s addiction is: His addiction to power and money.” She added that the main focus of the news story should not be “the salacious, verified photographs and videos” of Hunter, but rather the “corruption” and the “national security risk” of Biden becoming president.
“Our story explains where the info came from, and a Senate committee now confirms it also received the files from the same source. Yet Facebook and Twitter are deliberately trying to keep its users from reading and deciding for themselves what it means.”New York Post Editorial Board
Hunter Biden is going to jail if they let him live. Pray. 🤮 This is sick.— Ali 🟧 #JoeBidenIsSick (@ali) October 21, 2020
Biden Family is Compromised. pic.twitter.com/XuOWI114TZ
While the Left is skeptical of the stories regarding Hunter, many agree that the censorship was unnecessary and unwarranted. Branko Marcetic, writing for far-left Jacobin news, wrote, “The most important part of the New York Post‘s dubious Ukrainegate story has nothing to do with Ukraine: It’s Facebook and Twitter’s partisan rush to censor the story, a reminder of the tech monopolies’ growing threat to a free press.” The Intercept’s Glen Greenwald agreed, arguing that “The only people who should want to live in a world where Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai and Jeff Bezos have a stranglehold on what can be said and heard are those whose actions are devoted to the perpetuation of their power and who benefit from their hegemony.” However, Kevin Roose from The New York Times argues that the move from algorithms to actual humans ridding the platforms of “bad behavior” is a “positive step for transparency and accountability.” Matt Ford, Associate Editor of The New Republic, called the Post‘s trail of information regarding the Hunter story “murky, at best.” According to Politico, dozens of former intelligence officers have signed a document agreeing the claims reek of a Russian misinformation campaign:
“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails