Twitter said Thursday that it censored a New York Post article based on emails between Hunter Biden and a Burisma executive in accordance with its “hacked materials policy.”
“In line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson told National Review when asked why the platform was not allowing users to share the Post’s article.
Twitter’s Hacked Materials Policy states that it does not “permit the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets,” though the platform does currently allow leaked and hacked material from other sources, including Wikileaks, to be shared.
The platform said that the policy applied in this case due to concerns about the “lack of authoritative reporting” in regards to the origins of the material included in the article, and subsequently locked the Post’s Twitter account. Twitter’s actions came after Facebook announced it would limit the sharing of the story while fact-checkers reviewed the piece.
The Post published an article Wednesday morning based on emails between Hunter Biden and Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskiy discussing an apparent meeting with Joe Biden in Washington, D.C.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together,” Pozharskiy wrote to Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015. “It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.” Joe Biden has previously said that he has “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings” and that Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma “cause he’s a very bright guy.”
In a Thursday afternoon statement, the Biden campaign said the paper “never asked . . . about the critical elements of this story,” and that a review of “Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time” show that “no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” The Biden campaign did not dispute the veracity of the emails, though no other media outlet has confirmed the Post’s story so far.
The report also mentioned other documents that Rudy Giuliani provided to the Post on Sunday. Giuliani told the paper that his lawyer received the files, including the emails, on a copied hard drive from a Delaware computer shop owner, who discovered them on a laptop that was brought in for repair but was never picked up. The paper reported that the FBI subpoenaed the original laptop computer in December 2019, and included pictures of the alleged subpoena. When asked for confirmation by the Post, the FBI referred questions to the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, where a spokesperson said “my office can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.”
The Post‘s coverage drew condemnations from journalists on Twitter, over fears that the article could stem from “disinformation.” But Twitter’s actions outraged conservatives, with the Post‘s opinion editor Sohrab Ahmari calling the move “digital civil war.”
This is a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war.
I, an editor at The New York Post, one of the nation’s largest papers by circulation, can’t post one of our own stories that details corruption by a major-party presidential candidate, Biden. pic.twitter.com/BKNQmAG19H
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) October 14, 2020