Senators Launch FEC Investigation Into Facebook and Twitter

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Charlotte, NC —  As I reported yesterday, the New York Post published a bombshell article containing email evidence that Hunter Biden set up a meeting between Burisma big-wigs and his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden. Soon after the Post’s story was published, a Facebook executive tweeted that “we are reducing [the story’s] distribution on our platform.”

Soon, Twitter users noticed that they couldn’t tweet or direct message the Post link to other users. Sohrab Ahmari, the Editor in Chief for the New York Post, tweeted out the following:

No Title

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

Twitter has also banned this story on Direct Messaging (DM) too.

Facebook claims that the action is “part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation,” which in this case really means “give us time to come up with spin.”

If Big Tech wanted to suppress the story and keep people from learning more about this story, then consider their efforts and epic failure!

Conservative pundits and Republican lawmakers have rightly taken both platforms to task for this obvious censorship and suppression of legitimate political expression. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) brought the topic up during his time questioning Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, then sent a letter to both publishers (publisher or platform? that is the question!) containing numerous questions about their actions.

The Senator asked:

  1. How did Twitter determine that the New York Post story was a violation of its policy governing the distribution of hacked materials or approach to blocking links? Will Twitter make its decision-making process with regard to this case of content removal publicly available?
  2. How did Twitter find that the New York Post was “directly” distributing hacked materials – and thus in violation of its policy – when it is not clear that this is the case?
  3. Why did Twitter take additional, unprecedented action to lock the primary Twitter account of the New York Post, one of the nation’s most widely-distributed newspapers?
  4. If you have evidence that this news story contains “disinformation” or have otherwise determined that there are inaccuracies with the reporting, will you disclose them to the public so that they can assess your findings?
  5. Did any member of the Biden-Harris presidential campaign team or any person representing themselves as a representative of the campaign’s interests ask, encourage, or direct Twitter to suppress the New York Post story?

Senator Hawley (R-MO) also said that, “I have I have said over and over that #Section230 must be changed to allow American citizens to challenge #BigTech censorship. I have gone to the Senate floor to try to pass legislation to do it. Today I call on my Republican colleagues to join me. Now is the time for action

And he’s gone even further, writing a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the actions taken by Facebook and Twitter.

In part, Hawley wrote:

Countless Americans have sought to discuss and debate the article via the forums in which so much of our political speech occurs: on social media. But two social-media platforms have engaged in unprecedented suppression of public discussion of the article.

This conduct does not merely censor the core political speech of ordinary Americans, though it certainly does that. Twitter’s and Facebook’s conduct also appears to constitute a clear violation of federal campaign-finance law. Federal law prohibits any corporation from making a contribution to a federal candidate for office. Twitter and Facebook are corporations. A contribution includes “anything of value…for influencing any election for Federal office.”

Noting the proximity of Election Day and the fact that millions of people are already voting, Hawley asked that the investigation begin immediately.

Many on the Left will likely dismiss the New York Post story, this investigation, and will explain away the actions on behalf of Facebook and Twitter.  You know good and well that all of this changes by replacing Hunter Biden’s name with a different one–Donald Trump Jr.

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