The New York Post published an explosive story last week reporting that, on the basis of files recovered from a laptop allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son Hunter, then-Vice President Biden met with executives from Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm for whom his son worked in 2016.
If true, the report would undermine the presidential hopeful’s previous claims that “he has never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings” and would suggest he used his political influence for familial financial gain.
The story has received national attention, but perhaps less so for its politically-charged contents, and more because of how social-media giants Facebook and Twitter have suppressed it. Both Silicon Valley-based companies — whose employees send more than 90% of their political donations to Democrats, according to Fox News — took action on Oct. 14, the same day the Post story was published, to limit its reach on their platforms.
Facebook adjusted its algorithms to prevent the story from appearing high in people’s news feeds, effectively curbing the number of users who would see it. Twitter went even further. It blocked its users from tweeting posts that included links to, or even pictures of, the Post story. Twitter has also locked the Post’s Twitter account since the article was published.
Twitter justified its decision by pointing to its policy that “prohibits the use of our service to distribute content obtained without authorization” — a policy that has not been consistently applied before.
The tech giants’ moves drew criticism from across the political spectrum, from concerns that their policies and decision-making lacked transparency to accusations of downright politically-motivated censorship. On Oct. 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas to compel Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about why they suppressed distribution of the Post’s article.
Sohrab Ahmari is the op-ed editor for the New York Post and a Catholic convert and commentator. He spoke with the Register Oct. 21 about the deeper dynamics surrounding Big Tech’s treatment of the Biden story and why it should be a concern to Catholics and others who hold views unpopular with Silicon Valley progressives.
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