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‘Unprecedented Suppression’: Hawley Asks FEC To Investigate Facebook, Twitter For Quashing NY Post Hunter Biden Story
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) questions former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at hearing of the Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on June 03, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Republican-led panel is exploring issues raised with warrants issued in the FBI investigation, code named Crossfire Hurricane at the time, of Trump campaign officials in the 2016 presidential race. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)
Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) demanded answers Wednesday regarding why both Facebook and Twitter limited the ability of their users to read a New York Post story unflattering to Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and even floated the idea that the tech giants violated campaign finance law.

Soon after news broke that Twitter had joined Facebook in suppressing the reach of the story alleging that Hunter Biden introduced his father to a Burisma executive a year before the former vice president pushed Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating the energy company, Hawley wrote to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to express his concern regarding what he described as “unprecedented suppression” from Big Tech.

“The Post‘s reporting has understandably attracted substantial public discussion,” Hawley wrote in part, adding:

And countless Americans have sought to discuss and debate that 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. Twitter is blocking all tweets and direct messages that contain the URL for the Post article. Facebook has stated that it is “reducing [the story’s] distribution on our platform,” though the specifics of how Facebook will implement this remain opaque.

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.

After citing the relevant section of the U.S. Code, Hawley said, “Twitter and Facebook are both corporations. A ‘contribution’ includes ‘anything of value … for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office.’”

Hawley alleged that Facebook and Twitter’s “active suppression” of the New York Post story “appears to constitute contributions under federal law,” and that the Biden campaign “derives extraordinary value” from quashing a story that would link the former vice president to Ukrainian oligarchs.

Hawley also sent letters demanding answers to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. In his letter to Dorsey, Hawley said in part, “There are various reports circulating on Twitter of users unable to post a link to the New York Post story, with some users posting responses from Twitter that the content was deemed to be ‘potentially spammy or unsafe.'”

“I find this behavior stunning but not surprising from a platform that has censored the President of the United States,” Hawley added. Later, he demanded to know the specifics of how the company decided to suppress the story, as well as if anyone involved with the Biden-Harris campaign was involved.

In his letter to Zuckerberg, Hawley demanded to know the specifics of the “fact-checking” procedure that was used as justification for limiting the dissemination of the story on Facebook.

As The Daily Wire reported, Facebook policy communications director Andy Stone tweeted in part, “While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”

Related: ‘This Is Digital Civil War’: Twitter Disables ‘Potentially Harmful’ Link To NY Post Hunter Biden Story

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Unprecedented Suppression’: Hawley Asks FEC To Investigate Facebook, Twitter For Quashing NY Post Hunter Biden Story