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October surprise stifled on social media

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/14/20, 10:12 pm

Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday suppressed the distribution of a “smoking gun” New York Post report alleging corrupt dealings between former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and a Ukrainian gas company. Twitter said the report violated its “hacked materials policy,” and Facebook cast doubt on the veracity of the article, which was based on information from a copy of an abandoned hard drive obtained by President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and given to the Post.

What was the article about? It said the hard drive contained emails between Hunter Biden and an executive at Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company whose board of directors the younger Biden served on. If authentic, the emails would show the executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, asking Biden to use his political influence to help the company and later thanking him for an introduction to his father. The Biden campaign said an alleged meeting between the then–vice president and the Burisma contact never happened and the Post did not give Joe Biden a chance to tell his side of the story before publication. Congressional Republicans accused Twitter and Facebook of anti-conservative censorship and demanded an explanation. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted Wednesday evening that his company’s communication about the matter was “not great.”

Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Stew about the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine, a central concern in Trump’s impeachment trial.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Wed, 10/14/2020 11:39 pm

    Good call Twitter and FB! If anyone believes anything Giuliani says, then have I got a bridge to sell you! Not only that, this is an old, old, old, lie. Not surprised to find the New York Post (not to be confused with the New York Times) rehashing this old right wing garbage. I kind of wonder why World is repeating what even conservative FB has rejected.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 05:05 am

    "3 strikes and you are out." As the saying goes.

    "conservative FB" - Really!?

    Everything Giuliani says is not to believed. Really!? All lies?

    NYT is to be believed more than the NYT? Back to the bench Gramma. Strike 3!!

    "Right wing garbage"? Strike 4 while walking to the dugout...

    I'm not commenting at all on the article, which does seem to have some credibility, but even more so when Gramma's critique doesn't. At least she is not hiding her preconceived prejudice. 

    Thanks WNG for this update.


    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 08:06 am

    Next thing you'll be saying is that CNN only prints the truth. 

    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 09:42 am

    I agree, West Coast Gramma, that Twitter and Facebook did a good thing. They tried to prevent people from reading the whole New York Post report. By trying to hide the truth, they exposed their own lies. They are among those who "suppress the truth by their wickedness" and "exchange the truth of God for a lie" and "reject the truth and follow evil" (Romans 1 and 2). God has used their evil for good. Good call!

    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 09:03 am

    It is funny that Giuliani is now the Biden's conscience, given Giuliani's history of corrupt Ukrainian connections. I'm not going to reject this out of hand, but I'm not going to believe it without some independent verification, either. The Dispatch, a conservative outlet, has raised some serious questions about the veracity of this report.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 06:49 pm

    I would agree with other comments, West Coast Gramma.  Your comments do not appear balanced or reasonable.  What proof do you have that Giuliani always lies?  That is a big claim.  Also, this news is not about an "old" allegation but new and allegedly credible evidence that supports it.  And it is another big claim to say that FB leans conservative.  I would like to be open-minded but all evidence I have seen suggests the opposite.  What is your evidence?  
    I appreciate the tenor of most of the commentary accompanying World articles and you are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but let's try to keep it balanced and reasonable.

    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 12:23 am

    I think that Jack Dorsey's tweet was on Wednesday evening, not Thursday.

  • Janet S
    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 08:15 am

    It says Wednesday 

    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 08:50 am

    Now it does. When I first read the article Wednesday night, it said Thursday. Thank you, WORLD, for the correction.

    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 08:02 am

    "the Post did not give Joe Biden a chance to tell his side of the story before publication"

    Trump has not been given the same consideration for anything that has been put out there, even when they were "anonymous".

    Maybe they should have put the info about Biden out there as from an anonymous source as well.

  •  CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 01:09 pm

    "October surprise stifled on social media" should read "October surprise attempted stifle on social media backfires".

    The attempts to stifle the story caused it to spread even more.

    Twitter should be asked how abandoned material violates its “hacked materials policy"?

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 03:35 pm

    Who knows? It could be true.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 05:17 pm

    Thanks, Lynde, for the update.  A couple of points for accuracy:  My understanding is that Rudy Giuliani did not "obtain" a copy of the hard drive, which sounds like he was looking for it.  Rather his own lawyer was given a copy allegedly after others did not respond to offers to receive it.  Also, maybe I missed an update, but I understood the Biden campaign simply said no record of a meeting was in any of Joe Biden's calendars, not simply that it never happened.  

  •  Xion's picture
    Posted: Thu, 10/15/2020 07:30 pm

    This did not originate with Guiliani.  Hunter Biden failed to pay for having his laptop fixed and never picked it up.  So the laptop became the property of the computer store.  The question is whether the store owner had a right to review the contents of what was now his laptop.  Is that hacking?  The man gave the hard drive to the FBI, but they sat on it.  He also contacted various news outlets who showed no interest.  Thinking that this was of national interest he finally contacted Guiliani, having tried many other paths. 

    The emails prove the vice president was lying about what he knew.  It also shows that the impeachment was a false accusation, since there really was something to be concerned about in Biden's Ukraine dealings.  Isn't it weird how Trump almost always turns out to be right?  

    Most interesting of all is how bold social media has become in trying to tilt the election.  They keep canceling and censoring the truth put out by conservatives while amplifying the lies from the left.  They do it openly and proudly with no fear of consequences.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 10/16/2020 04:39 am

    This is just a sideshow. No real relevance, not a lot of reason to worry about whether the New York Post's report is true or not.  

    What is really important is if voters prefer Trump's and the Republicans' platform of restrictions on abortion, increased religious freedom, a reduction in illegal immigration, restraint of China's trade abuses, bringing manufacturing jobs back from overseas, taking steps to prevent Iran's development of nuclear weapons, support for peace between Israel and surrounding Muslim nations, and so forth; or Biden's and the Democratic Party's platform that is pretty much the exact opposite of the Republicans. 

    I truly don't understand how any genuinely born-again person can stomach what the Democrats want for this Nation 

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Fri, 10/16/2020 05:04 pm

    I agree, OldMike, the Republican platform is more closely aligned with Biblical principles and individual liberty than the Democratic platform (hey, aren't the Democrats the ones that totally REMOVED "God" from their platform?). But the Biden campaign (and by extension the press) has done an excellent job of making this election a referendum on Trump's personality rather than on the issues. Are the American people clearheaded enough to see through the haze and smoke? We'll see.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Fri, 10/16/2020 05:55 pm

    Agreed.  Pray!

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Fri, 10/16/2020 05:21 pm

    Tucker Carlson does a great job on telling about Biden's corruption. Listen to the video for he explains it well.