US Politics

Sensible or censorship? Social media moves to block alleged disinformation about Biden sparks backlash

BY Joseph Rachman | tweet rachman_joseph   /  15 October 2020

It feels like a replay of the email leaks that so damaged Hillary Clinton in 2016. Yesterday, The New York Post published a series of damaging allegations about Hunter Biden, and his father Joe Biden, based on the contents of a laptop Hunter Biden had allegedly dropped off at a repair shop. Yet, again experts are warning that the story may well be part of a disinformation campaign, or manipulatively released by foreign actors.

However, this time there is one key difference. Social media companies have stepped in to stop the story’s spread due to doubts about the article’s credibility, and fears it is an attempt to manipulate the election. Facebook has placed restrictions on linking the article pending review by factcheckers with company spokesperson Andy Stone saying it was “part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation.”

Twitter has also blocked users from posting links to or photos of the story, and users retweeting or clicking an already posted link are warned it “may be unsafe”. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary, claimed that her Twitter account was locked after she shared the story.


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