After the New York Post published a story on Wednesday detailing allegations of corruption against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Twitter’s tech police went into overdrive to defend him.
To dispute the New York Post’s report, several journalists re-upped a Washington Post fact check from last year stating that then-Vice President Biden did not help oust Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect his son, Hunter Biden. The fact check itself is not the problem. It acknowledges that Joe Biden did play a role in ousting Shokin, but it states that he did so in coordination with international groups — and not because Shokin was investigating corruption in the country, but because he was not.
Twitter, however, shared the Washington Post fact check in one of its events (after banning circulation of the New York Post’s story entirely) and said that Biden “played no role in pressuring Ukraine officials into firing the prosecutor.”
This just is not true. Biden himself has said he threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine to force the firing of Shokin. He very clearly played a role in Shokin’s firing, as the Washington Post acknowledged. So, why is Twitter grossly misrepresenting the Washington Post’s story, as well as Biden’s own words?
I would be inclined to give Twitter the benefit of the doubt, but the social media giant showed its hand on Wednesday when it started suspending accounts that shared the New York Post’s report. Users were prevented from even sharing the article in a direct message. Twitter obviously did not want this story circulating, and we should all be asking why.
Twitter said in a statement that it blocked the circulation of the report because the report contained information and images that were “obtained without authorization.” A spokesperson for the company gave the Washington Examiner a different explanation: “Given the lack of authoritative reporting on the origins of the materials included in the article, we’re taking action to limit the spread of this information.”
Neither of these reasons is legitimate because neither of these standards has been applied until now. When a story that included secret recordings of a conversation with first lady Melania Trump broke last month, Twitter allowed it to circulate without a peep, even though the recordings were obtained without her consent. And when Christopher Steele’s dossier began to make the rounds, Twitter did not restrict users’ access to it, even though it contained many unverifiable claims that lacked “authoritative reporting.”
And now, Twitter is spreading outright falsehoods about Biden in order to protect him. Keep that in mind the next time Twitter claims not to pick sides.
This post first appeared on Here