Technology

Trump slams Facebook, Twitter for limiting spread of New York Post’s Biden story

President Trump on Thursday slammed Facebook and Twitter over their decisions to limit the spread of a New York Post story that included allegations about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

Trump accused the companies of seeking to help his opponent’s campaign by enforcing policies that limit users’ ability to share the story. Biden’s campaign has disputed portions of the article after it was published Wednesday.

“Now, Big Tech — you see what’s going on with Big Tech? — is censoring these stories to try and get Biden out of this impossible jam. He’s in a big jam,” Trump said at a rally in North Carolina.

“He and his family are crooked and they were caught, they got caught,” Trump added.

His comments are in response to Facebook and Twitter’s decisions to clamp down on the spread of the Post story, which includes claims about Joe Biden and Ukraine that hinge on emails reportedly retrieved from the hard drive of a laptop dropped off at a computer repair shop in Delaware in April 2019.

An unnamed store owner, who reportedly could not identify the individual who dropped off the computer, is said to have provided a copy of the hard drive to an attorney for Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who now serves as Trump’s personal lawyer, before it was seized by the FBI.

The Biden campaign has pushed back on the report. The campaign told Politico the Post never asked the campaign about “critical elements of this story” and said that based on a review of the former vice president’s official schedule from that time “no meeting, as alleged by The New York Post, ever took place.”

A Biden spokesman did not directly refute Trump’s remarks when asked to respond to his rally comments, but rather criticized the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and decision to hold in-person events. 

“Eight months into this crisis, Donald Trump’s devastatingly botched coronavirus response has cost over 215,000 Americans their lives and tens of millions their jobs,” Bates said in a statement.
“But instead of finally producing any coherent strategy for defeating the pandemic and getting the country back to work – as Joe Biden did months ago – Trump is busy holding super spreader events and running for president of rightwing fever dreams.” 

Trump’s GOP allies have used the tech platforms’ decisions to limit the spread of the New York Post report to renew allegations of an anti-conservative bias on social media.

The president himself on Thursday renewed his call to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, referring to a clause that protects social media platforms from being held liable for what is posted on their websites.

“If Big Tech persists in coordination with the mainstream media, we must immediately strip them of their Section 230 protections, OK? It’s very simple,” Trump said at his rally. 

Trump’s daughter and White House advisor Ivanka Trump similarly slammed tech companies for limiting the spread of the story.

“Big tech has grossly overreached and Americans are angry,” Ivanka Trump tweeted.

Her post retweeted one from Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) office about the senator’s letter formally requesting Twitter and Facebook CEOs testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism about their actions taken on the Post story. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Thursday the Judiciary Committee will vote next week on a subpoena for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify before the panel. It is less than a week before Dorsey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee, along with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

Updated: 4:07 p.m.

Tags censorship claims Donald Trump Facebook Ivanka Trump Joe Biden Josh Hawley Mark Zuckerberg Rudy Giuliani Section 230 Social media Tech giants Ted Cruz Twitter
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