Social-media giants have been accused of ‘politically motivated censorship’ after they deliberately blocked stories that could help to revive President Trump’s ailing re-election campaign.
The row exploded after the New York Post reported that Mr Biden’s drug-addict son Hunter allegedly offered to introduce his Ukrainian business partners to his father, who was vice-president at the time, in exchange for cash.
The report was based on an email recovered from an abandoned laptop that had been turned over to
The New York Post published a photograph, said to be found on an abandoned laptop, showing Hunter with a crack pipe in his mouth
But despite appearing in a respected newspaper, the social-media giants blocked users from spreading the story, with Facebook saying it had to be fact-checked and Twitter saying it violated its rules on using hacked material.
The Twitter accounts of the newspaper, of the official Trump campaign and of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany were even temporarily banned from posting anything at all because of the furore. The Post also published a photograph, said to be found on the same computer, showing Hunter with a crack pipe in his mouth.
Last night, more emails emerged in which Hunter allegedly struck a deal with a Chinese energy conglomerate to pay ‘The Big Guy’, identified by unnamed sources as Joe Biden, ten per cent of the profits of a newly formed company.
Both Twitter and Facebook, where former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is now a senior executive, stopped users from linking to stories alleging corruption involving Mr Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden
A furious Trump lashed out, saying: ‘So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of the ‘Smoking Gun’ emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son Hunter.’
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey was forced to offer a humiliating apology, describing the decision to block links to the story as ‘unacceptable’.
Mr Biden, who is leading in the polls for the election, has denied all claims of corruption against him. Last night, he said: ‘It’s another smear campaign.’
Supporters of Mr Biden have questioned the authenticity of the emails, which were released last week by Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Mr Giuliani has promised to release more ‘bombshell’ information before the November 3 election.
The New York Post reported that Mr Biden’s drug-addict son Hunter allegedly offered to introduce his Ukrainian business partners to his father, who was vice-president at the time, in exchange for cash. Pictured: The front page of the New York Post after its article was blocked
Facebook and Twitter’s actions provoked an outcry from Republicans who accused them of censorship
Facebook and Twitter’s actions provoked an outcry from Republicans who accused them of censorship.
The party last night lodged an official complaint with the federal election commission over the social-media ban.
Mr Trump’s spokesman Tim Murtaugh said: ‘For Twitter to lock the main account of the campaign of the President of the United States is a breathtaking level of political meddling and nothing short of an attempt to rig the election.
‘Joe Biden’s Silicon Valley pals are aggressively blocking negative news stories about their guy and preventing voters from accessing important information. This is like something from communist China or Cuba, not the United States.’