Before the presidential election last year, the New York Post broke a story about Hunter Biden that implied Joe Biden might have abused his power as Vice President in dealings with Ukraine. Facebook put a fact-check label on the story and cut its distribution. Twitter deleted links to it and started suspending users for sharing it – something it later apologized for.
“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform,” Andy Stone, Facebook’s policy communications director, tweeted at the time.
“This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review.”
But the “fact-checker review” has never come. Stone has refused to respond to journalist Glenn Greenwald’s questioning on the issue. In a series of tweets, Greenwald shared screenshots of messages he sent to Stone that have not been answered.
The journalist asked Stone two questions:
“1) Did Facebook in fact conduct the “fact-check” on the reporting about the Biden family that Mr. Stone referenced in your October 14 tweet announcing its suppression and, if so, what was the outcome of it? If such a fact-check was performed, does Facebook intend to make its findings public at some point?”
“2) what is your reporting relationship to Anna Makanju, if any, and did she play any role in Facebook’s decision to suppress this reporting?”
Anna Makanju was Joe Biden’s senior policy adviser for Ukraine. At the time of flagging the Hunter Biden story, Makanju was Facebook’s global policy manager for content regulation.
This week, Politico confirmed much of the story that was first reported by the New York Post, causing Facebook to face more heat over censorship of the story, with some accusing Facebook of election interference to protect Joe Biden.
Politico Playbook reported from Ben Schreckinger’s new book “The Bidens,” which investigates the revelations that were suppressed by Big Tech giants.
“A person who had independent access to Hunter Biden’s emails confirmed he did receive a 2015 email from a Ukrainian businessman thanking him for the chance to meet Joe Biden. The same goes for a 2017 email in which a proposed equity breakdown of a venture with Chinese energy executives includes the line, ‘10 held by H for the big guy?’” the Politico wrote.
“Emails released by a Swedish government agency also match emails in the leaked cache, and two people who corresponded with Hunter Biden confirmed emails from the cache were genuine.”