The US Federal Election Commission (FEC) has not accepted a complaint filed by the Republican National Committee (RNC) regarding Twitter’s treatment of New York Post articles about Hunter Biden’s emails.
The FEC ruling is yet to be officially announced, but the Republicans are already unwilling to let the controversy die down.
The RNC alleges that suppressing the Hunter Biden story – which broke during the 2020 presidential campaign – was an illegal move on the part of Twitter, while its representatives now note that even the social network’s CEO Jack Dorsey admitted, after the fact, that this was “a total mistake.”
During the period of time Twitter was making sure as few people as possible read the articles, it was explaining its actions as the need to suppress not the story, but “disinformation.”
But in the complaint, the RNC says that what happened on Twitter was an example of an “illegal corporate in-kind political contribution” that Dorsey’s company made to Joe Biden’s campaign.
The complaint makes a strong case of proving this, said RNC spokesperson Emma Vaughn, describing at the same time the decision made by FEC as disappointing – and one Republicans are considering whether to appeal.
At the time the Hunter Biden laptop scandal came to light, revealing some damning information about not only his personal life and business dealings, but also those of his father, Twitter gave it its best shot to suppress the story, complete with preventing people from sharing tweets with links to the articles, and even locking the website out of its account for two weeks.
In early 2020, when the election and the subsequent controversies around it were already over, Dorsey said this was “a process error” – but the Post said that at the time the drama was unfolding, Twitter demanded from the media outlet to delete six tweets about its Hunter Biden coverage, which they refused.
According to reports, the FEC accepted Twitter’s explanation that its actions were driven by commercial rather than political reasons. The FEC decision is also cited as stating that Twitter “had been warned by federal law enforcement officials that Hunter Biden ‘might be a target’ of hacking operations by ‘malign state actors’ seeking to interfere in the 2020 elections,” writes the Post – and the commission reportedly found this to be a justification for Twitter’s behavior in this matter.