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Facebook’s and Twitter’s Throttling of the Hunter Biden Story Backfires Spectacularly
This article is authored by Mitch Nemeth
Facebook and Twitter’s measures to reduce the visibility of a New York Post story [a must read] about Hunter Biden backfired, as these efforts “didn’t prevent the article from becoming the top story about the election,” according to Axios. This does not lessen the troublesome actions taken by the platforms to curb the spread of a potentially devastating story for the Biden family. It does, however, demonstrate that “even swift, aggressive content suppression may not be swift or aggressive enough to keep down a story…as this one.”
Both social media networks have come under fire for alleged “censorship” of conservative-leaning content. Of course, the First Amendment’s protections of “Freedom of Speech” do not apply to most private corporations; however, these platforms are given an element of immunity for content moderation under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This government-granted immunity for certain moderation has been a political hot-button issue for some time.
Stories like the Hunter Biden New York Post story are undoubtedly in the public interest, as were the thousands of articles about the now-debunked Steele Dossier and Russian “collusion.” What differentiates this story from other political news stories is the response by social media networks.
Twitter took extreme action in which it disabled the sharing of the New York Post article, while suspending accounts of high-profile individuals who shared it. Facebook, on the other hand, reduced the reach of the story and made the sharing of this Post article eligible to be fact-checked. As major social networks…