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Douglas Andrews / Oct. 15, 2020

Big Tech's Corrupt Censorship

The Hunter Biden story is a huge deal. No wonder Facebook and Twitter blocked it.

If the troubled son of a sitting vice president accepted a lucrative do-nothing job with a notoriously corrupt foreign company, that’d be a big deal, right?

And if the father, who later decided to run for president, categorically denied having had any knowledge of or involvement with his son’s efforts to peddle influence using his famous surname, that’d be a big deal, too, right?

And if it turned out that the father was lying about that knowledge, that’d be, as someone once said, “a big f—ing deal,” right?

Wrong. At least not if you’re Twitter or Facebook and you’re hell-bent on dragging Joe Biden’s carcass across the finish line on November 3. In that case, it’d be a big ol’ nothingburger. But just in case, the story would also be censored for its “lack of authoritative reporting” and for having run afoul of your “Hacked Materials Policy.”

But how much more authoritative can reporting be than that which simply publishes the email communications of the aforementioned troubled son? And as for “hacked materials,” where was this self-righteous standard a couple of weeks ago, when these same Big Tech platforms were gleefully helping The New York Times publish information about President Donald Trump’s private tax returns?

If ever there were an October Surprise, yesterday morning’s New York Post exclusive was it. The story — which is still coming out — presents damning evidence of influence peddling at the highest levels of the Obama administration. And yet the most powerful media megaphones in the world suppressed it. Heck, Twitter even locked Donald Trump’s press secretary out of her account to keep her from sharing the story.

Let’s be clear about one thing: Big Tech is corrupt, even evil. It is the enemy of conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, and honest liberals everywhere.

“In case there was any doubt that Facebook and Twitter are corruptly partisan,” writes the New York Post’s Miranda Devine, “the social-media giants censored The Post’s story Wednesday on Hunter Biden’s e-mails suggesting he took cash for access to his father, Joe Biden. The bombshell exclusive was trending all Wednesday morning on social media platforms until Big Tech stepped in to run protection for the Democratic presidential candidate.”

Perhaps realizing that by censoring the story so close to a presidential election he was actually amplifying its importance, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey came out with a warm-spit statement of regret: “Our communication around our actions on the nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”

“Not great” and “unacceptable” didn’t sit well with Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who tweeted back: “Jack this is not nearly good enough. In fact, it’s a joke. It’s downright insulting. I will ask you — and Facebook — to give an explanation UNDER OATH to the Senate subcommittee I chair. These are potential violations of election law, and that’s a crime.”

Of course, we’ve been hearing this sort of indignation from Republicans for years. And to what end? Wash, rinse, repeat.

As the editors at National Review point out, “Twitter has offered no evidence that any of the information was illegally obtained. No similar standard was applied when the New York Times published Trump’s tax returns, even though anyone who had legal access to them is likely to have broken the law in sharing them with the Times. The newspaper reports that Hunter Biden’s emails had turned up in the hard drive of a laptop that had been dropped off at a repair shop last year. … Whatever the case … it’s certainly not the job of giant tech companies who claim to function as neutral platforms to decide what news consumers can or can’t handle.”

The editors think Big Tech’s media malfeasance will backfire, but we’re not so sure. These companies have yet to be punished for their repeated encroachments on the marketplace of ideas, and they continue to take full advantage of the special treatment they’ve enjoyed from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act since 1996, when the Internet was in its relative infancy. The law protects these hyper-partisan Big Tech platforms from liability for their users’ posts, and, they claim, it allows them to suppress or censor their users’ content without being treated as publishers.

Clearly Section 230 is in dire need of an update. Our very Liberty is at stake. What on earth are Republicans waiting for?


Might this reflexive urge to censor have anything to do with the political disposition of the Big Tech workforce? You tell us: A whopping 98.99% of Twitter employees’ federal campaign contributions of $200 or more went to Democrats, while 91.68% of Facebook employees’ donations did likewise. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

(Updated.)

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