New York Post business reporter Noah Manskar says that the Post's primary Twitter account has been locked after publication of a bombshell report on Hunter Biden.
The Post's primary Twitter account (@nypost) has also been locked because the Hunter Biden stories violate its rule… https://t.co/0Ad5oWphr6— Noah Manskar (@Noah Manskar)1602703358.0
According to Manskar, Twitter said the account was locked "because of the lack of authoritative reporting on where the materials in our Biden story originated."
Twitter says this was done because of the lack of authoritative reporting on where the materials in our Biden story… https://t.co/vo85myJ3gV— Noah Manskar (@Noah Manskar)1602703663.0
As the video from the Daily Caller's White House Correspondent Anders Hagstrom shows, an error message appears when users attempt to share the story, which Twitter has labeled as "potentially harmful."
Twitter is prohibiting users from sharing the @nypost’s Hunter Biden story because the link is “potentially harmful… https://t.co/pFwr14sdrb— Anders Hagstrom (@Anders Hagstrom)1602700718.0
New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali reported the censorship, along with a statement from Twitter explaining why it is blocking the spread of the New York Post's article.
"Given the lack of authoritative reporting on the origins of the materials included in the article, we're taking action to limit the spread of this information," Twitter said in a statement shared by Ali.
"As our Hacked Material Policy states, 'we don't permit the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets," Twitter said.
From Twitter re blocking the NY Post link. https://t.co/k908Xf1ODV https://t.co/sOMS29lTfB— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘)1602702700.0
On Wednesday, the New York Post published what the paper says is email correspondence between Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden and Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, appearing to show Pozharskyi thanking the younger Biden for setting up a meeting with his father, who was then serving as vice president. The email, if true, would contradict claims from Biden that he's never spoken with his son about his overseas business dealings.
According to the Post, the email was contained in a "massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer." The computer was dropped off at a repair shop in Biden's home state of Delaware in April 2019 and the owner of the shop told the Post it was never retrieved by its owner.
Nothing in the Post's story suggests the email or other material recovered from the laptop was "hacked."
Several commentators and even some lawmakers expressed shock and outrage at the steps Twitter and Facebook have taken to suppress the Post's story.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.),
a crusader against powerful social media companies, accused Facebook and Twitter of censorship and remarked, "you almost get the idea #bigtech wants to buy this election."
This is amazing. Now @Twitter joins @Facebook in censoring the @nypost reporting on Biden. You almost get the idea… https://t.co/aqu8wkVtfD— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1602700289.0
In several tweets, Hawley criticized Twitter and Facebook for suppressing the story.
Does the @Facebook @Twitter coordinated censorship constitute an in-kind contribution to the Biden campaign?— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1602705041.0
.@Twitter has locked @nypost. Has Twitter ever locked the account of a major news outlet? Why is Twitter attacking the free press— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1602705897.0
Hawley also sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey with a list of questions about how Twitter made the decision to block the Post story and whether Twitter communicated with the Biden-Harris presidential campaign before suppressing the story.
Earlier today I sent a list of questions to @Facebook. I want the same questions answered by @Twitter https://t.co/JOsOhmPKgR— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1602706148.0
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also sent a letter to Dorsey "regarding Twitter's censorship of the New York Post."
My letter to @jack regarding @Twitter’s censorship of the @nypost. https://t.co/o3Ebkbqait— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz)1602705859.0
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) threatened Facebook and Twitter with legislation to regulate the social media platforms as publishers.
Big Tech has spoken. You will see and read only what it finds politically acceptable. Twitter, Facebook, and all… https://t.co/dQAlXFr18j— Tom Cotton (@Tom Cotton)1602701791.0
House Judiciary Committee Republicans tweeted the story and asked other users to share it because "The mainstream media doesn't want you to share this article."
The mainstream media doesn’t want you to share this article. RT to make sure you do. https://t.co/UgakOk0IvE— House Judiciary GOP (@House Judiciary GOP)1602689146.0
New York Post opinion writer Sohrab Ahmari called Twitter's actions "a digital civil war."
This is a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war. I, an editor at The New York Post, one of the nat… https://t.co/aJNQhZjK4w— Sohrab Ahmari (@Sohrab Ahmari)1602700338.0
Writer Mark Hemingway said the actions by Twitter verge into "'enemy of the people' territory," referencing President Donald Trump's frequent claim that the mainstream media and social media's bias makes them the enemy of the people.
The Dispatch's David French noted that Twitter and Facebook never censored information reported from the infamous Steele Dossier, despite many of the claims made about President Donald Trump
having been false.
Speaking of sketchy oppo dumps and online censorship -- why is the Steele dossier still freely available (and still… https://t.co/h0r0XOKI00— David French (@David French)1602703321.0
The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway pointed out that Twitter took no steps to limit the distribution of the New York Times' story on President Trump's taxes.
The New York Times never even pretended to explain how it hacked Trump's tax records and yet Twitter *promoted* lin… https://t.co/5ktwJkb6wM— Mollie (@Mollie)1602703430.0
And Lee Fang, a reporter for the Intercept, also noted the discrepancy in Twitter's enforcement of this policy.
The Biden campaign isn't disputing the authenticity of the Hunter Biden emails. If the story is fabricated, there m… https://t.co/60C1zmkMHE— Lee Fang (@Lee Fang)1602703816.0
Editor's Note: This story was updated to include tweets from Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, as well as New York Post reporter Noah Manskar.