As the big tech tyrants tighten their grip, join us for more free speech at Parler—the anti-censorship social media platform.
New revelations published by the New York Post surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden's involvement with his son's business dealings in Ukraine topped all other stories related to the upcoming US presidential election in the past week, according to a new report by Axios.
The story contradicts earlier claims by Joe Biden that he had no involvement in his son's business dealings in Ukraine. Leaked emails acquired from Hunter Biden's laptop appear to show executives of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma were, in fact, introduced to the former Vice President.
Between October 12th and 19th, the Hunter Biden story received 4.7 million interactions on social media. The story received 1.9 million more engagements than the second most interacted with story of the week, which concerned the social media censorship of the revelations.
According to the report, five of the top ten articles shared over Facebook and Twitter over the week were directly related to the Hunter Biden revelations. The story, however, was not the top story of the month, being surpassed by Trump testing positive for COVID-19, among a few others.
It appears that the attempt to censor the story has backfired, with conservatives sounding the alarm once again about the ability of big tech to meddle in elections. Twitter justified suppressing the story under rules regarding "hacked material," despite the fact that the material was not retrieved through hacking, while Facebook justified their suppression of the story by arguing that it had not yet been subject to fact-checking.
Democratic officials, members of the intelligence community, and members of the press have claimed that the revelations are part of a "Russian disinformation campaign," allegations which have been disputed by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, stating that “there is no intelligence that supports” to support such claims.
Twitter also announced that they would be modifying their "hacked material" rules to only apply to those who actually engaged in hacking. The Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees announced in the aftermath of the censorship that they would be issuing subpoenas to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. Such plans have been delayed, however.
The failure of social media companies to suppress the story is yet another example of the so-called "Streisand effect," whereby those who seek to censor stories over social media inadvertently creates even greater interest in the topic. As noted in an article from the MIT Technology Review on Monday, the censorship of the story likely doubled its overall visibility and caused it to gain even more attention than it otherwise would have.
The laptop is now in the possession of the FBI.