With over two weeks to go for the presidential elections in the US that are scheduled for November 3, social media website Twitter on Wednesday restricted access to an article published by the New York Post concerning Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Twitter prevented people from sharing the link to the article and warned people that it could be “potentially unsafe”. Users were also not allowed to share the article through private messages on the website. Facebook also followed and took steps to restrict access to the article, sparking a backlash among the conservatives and reigniting the debate around social media censorship.
The article, which is critical of Biden, says that by accessing information, including emails and some photographs in a laptop apparently left by Biden’s son Hunter Biden at a computer repair shop in 2019 in Delaware, they found information linking Biden to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, of which his son was a board member.
The report mentions that other materials extracted from the laptop include a 12-minute “raunchy” video that appears to show Biden’s son smoking crack while engaged in a sexual act with an unidentified woman, “as well as numerous other sexually explicit images”, the article states and maintains that the person who dropped off the laptop could not be positively identified as Hunter Biden.
One of the emails from 2015, accessed from the laptop, mentions an adviser of the Ukrainian company thanking Biden’s son for inviting him to meet with the former vice-president. However, the article does not substantiate its claims that Biden actually met with the adviser. Accoridng to a BBC report, Biden’s election campaign has denied that such a meeting took place.
In a blog post published on October 9, Twitter announced some additional steps the website will be taking ahead of the US elections. One of these measures is to take more strict measures against “misleading information about civic integrity, COVID-19, and synthetic and manipulated media.” It added, “Starting next week, when people attempt to Retweet one of these Tweets with a misleading information label, they will see a prompt pointing them to credible information about the topic before they are able to amplify it.”
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