In an amazing development Thursday morning, Twitter restricted user access to an official government website in order to censor a bombshell report on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
What are the details?
On Wednesday, the New York Post ran a story about a "smoking gun" email allegedly indicating former Vice President Biden did in fact meet with a top Burisma executive while in office despite repeatedly claiming the contrary.
Twitter went to great lengths to censor the story, blocking users from sharing it on the platform, barring users from sending it in direct messages, and suspending high-profile accounts that shared the story — including accounts operated by the New York Post, the Trump campaign, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
In response to the censorship, the Republican House Judiciary Committee decided to publish the story on their website so that interested Americans could read it.
The committee then posted a link to the publication on Twitter, redirecting users to their website, not the New York Post's. But it didn't matter, Twitter censored that, too.
Twitter has blocked users from tweeting the link to the @nypost's story on Hunter Biden.
So we put it on our websi… https://t.co/c68ow57pRa
— House Judiciary GOP (@House Judiciary GOP)1602709694.0
Users who tried to access the link had their screens flashed with a warning page, which said "this link may be unsafe."
"The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe, in accordance with Twitter's URL Policy," the warning page stated.
The page also included a list of reasons for which the link could be considered unsafe:
- malicious links that could steal personal information or harm electronic devices
- spammy links that mislead people or disrupt their experience
- violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm
- certain categories of content that, if posted directly on Twitter, are a violation of the Twitter Rules
Image Source: Twitter screenshot
In a thread posted by its "Safety" account, Twitter alleged that images and materials contained in the Post's article violated its "private information policy" and its "distribution of hacked materials policy."
Interestingly enough, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey acknowledged the social media giant's handling of the situation was "unacceptable."
In a tweet Wednesday evening, he said: "Our communication around our actions on the [New York Post] article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we're blocking: unacceptable."
The Daily Caller's Geoffrey Ingersoll pointed out the hypocrisy in a tweet Thursday morning.
So, let me see if I get this right: The morning after @jack's big mea culpa on how stupid it was to block the NYPos… https://t.co/jIFlGH50cy
— Geoffrey Ingersoll (@Geoffrey Ingersoll)1602767901.0
Jason Buttrill, a former intelligence analyst who now works as the chief researcher for "The Glenn Beck Program," wrote in a tweet: "WOW. Now Twitter is blocking access to government sites as well."
Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy noted in a tweet that Twitter is not only restricting viewing access to the link on the Judiciary Committee's website, but it is also restricting users from sharing the link on the platform.
Instead of facing questions from the media about the report Wednesday, Biden's campaign called an early morning press "lid."
Then later in the afternoon, the campaign released a prepared statement to Politico that read, "We have reviewed Joe Biden's official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place."
Though Politico added that "Biden's campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with [Vadym] Pozharskyi, which wouldn't appear on Biden's official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory. Pozharskyi did not respond to a request for comment."