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Holy bleeping bleep. Facebook explicitly admitting it is protecting Biden -- and interfering in the presidential election -- by censoring media outlets and limiting discussion of today's breaking news about Biden's engagement with Burisma. https://t.co/nF07qqyc5J— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 14, 2020
News flash everything on social media is an editorial decision by the company. Every single thing, the UI, the posts you see, the posts you don’t, the metrics, the speed with which everything updates, the colors, it’s all human decisions all the way down. It’s all subjective— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) October 14, 2020
I'm a huge fan of fact-checking and alerting folks on social media to stories being disputed. That feels like that right solution.— email@example.com (@Jason) October 14, 2020
However, Twitter blocking this NYPOST Hunter Biden story from being shared--even if it is bogus--does not feel like the right solution
My mental model for Facebook stories is that they fit into three categories:— Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) October 14, 2020
1: FB fucking up
2: ‘It’s complicated’
3: ‘That’s not really a story’ (or it’s a story about something else)
Every week there’s at least one in each category - the challenge is to work out which.
The New York Times never even pretended to explain how it hacked Trump's tax records and yet Twitter *promoted* links to their stories. Media outlets didn't decline to cover that story. These are lies. Do not believe their lies. They are lying to you. https://t.co/X8BcmfYew4— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 14, 2020
First, the surfacing. This here is highly suspicious behavior. Especially when viewed in the context of a political campaign. Creative, anonymous, credibility-generating, somewhat plausible. Exactly how a professional would surface disinformation and potentially forgeries. pic.twitter.com/zIer2QR99a— Thomas Rid (@RidT) October 14, 2020
Congress could enact legislation to make all social media companies — or some subset of them — act like common carriers. But they keep not doing that, perhaps for good reasons.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) October 14, 2020
This is related to today's Biden story: A few months ago the fact-respecting portion of the internet was outraged at social media companies allowing Plandemic to go wildly viral, despite stated policies against health misinfo. The video was taken down after millions of views...— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
which triggered a second-wave story about the outrageous censorship of taking down a video claiming microbes in sand would cure COVID and ppl shouldn't wear masks.— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
My personal opinion is that the takedown was a bad call; turned the misinfo actor into a martyr for free speech.
Twitter banning the NY Post story on Joe/Hunter Biden is a mistake.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) October 14, 2020
Gives the piece more attention than it would otherwise get.
And hard to make a credible argument that would see this specific article singled out for such treatment.
.@Facebook I want to know on what grounds you are actively censoring a news report about potentially illegal corruption by the Democrat candidate for president. If you have evidence this is “disinformation,” disclose it immediately. Expect a formal inquiry from my office— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
This is straight-up election interference by @Facebook, being announced by their comms person who touts in his bio numerous past jobs with Dems. Big Tech is openly trying to rig this election for Biden & should be held accountable immediately. @FCC @senjudiciary @SenateCommerce https://t.co/NO2eG6D6K0— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 14, 2020
Bottom line: *every individual little fact*—every email, every detail mentioned in an email—must be verified when data is surfaced in such a suspicious way, not just one piece of information, say a photo. It appears that The New York Post did not do that here.— Thomas Rid (@RidT) October 14, 2020
The challenge right now:— Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) October 14, 2020
We connected everyone, including the assholes, the idiots and our own worst instincts... and including all the things people fight about.
And all of that is on Facebook. And they screw up a lot, but it's not simple or easy.
whatever your views on this issue can we agree that: 1) we live in hell 2) platforms r making this up as they go 3) 96% of the media/political class dont know what they’re talking about 4) speech issues r generally way more thorny than the binary discussion we’d all like to have https://t.co/eGRdXwgNie— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) October 14, 2020
this'll end up getting conflated with the Facebook move, which is fundamentally different. anyhow, this probably just juiced this story into a secondary, more powerful news cycle. imagine more ppl will talk/learn about it now, as a result of twitter trying to cut off distribution https://t.co/wKteTdFVUT— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) October 14, 2020
I'm ok with Facebook and Twitter throttling some links. Just gotta make sure they always make the right choices.— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) October 14, 2020
A lot of these policies have been introduced in the last month. Twitter just banned, as far as I saw, no prior explanation (FB at least attempted explanation). Yet another second-wave meta-story about a moderation choice that turns the story itself into forbidden knowledge. https://t.co/19YuGkxw58— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
Social networks should block all links to news articles until they can be independently verified— Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) October 14, 2020
The New York Post actually has its own website, its own printing presses, its own distribution fleet, and a closely-allied Murdoch-owned tv network. What business does a US congressman have badgering other companies to platform its propaganda? https://t.co/I91bvpSj9K— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) October 14, 2020
So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of “Smoking Gun” emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost. It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!! https://t.co/g1RJFpIVUZ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2020
FEC violation for illegal corporate contribution.— Keith Rabois (@rabois) October 14, 2020
And to be blunt, there's a willingness to just use proper nouns in place of actual reporting. You can see it in the long lists of names the president tweets sometimes, blowing enough smoke that nobody really cares if there's fire— Parker Higgins (@xor) October 14, 2020
Democrat Operative using his Corporate position at @Facebook to influence the United States Election.@andymstone is working with his coworkers in the Democrat party to...— Text TRUMP to 88022 (@GaryCoby) October 14, 2020
Shadow ban news that Joe Biden lied and knew about his son Hunter’s corrupt foreign business deals. https://t.co/NXScc56uGz
what the fuck is a third party fact checker? absolutely want those people, hired by Zuckerberg and his investors and share holders, ~curating~ The News for me, fantastic work everyone— Liz Franczak (@liz_franczak) October 14, 2020
.@Facebook’s decision to “reduce distribution” of the @nypost’s reporting on Joe Biden’s ties to Burisma is a grave threat to our democracy.— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) October 14, 2020
If Facebook continues to use its monopoly to control what news Americans have access to, they will face severe consequences. pic.twitter.com/GUHqfKC1cQ
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.— Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020
One of the significant sources of frustration around Plandemic for me was that there were very clear signals that the person in the video had been trying to go viral for weeks, and that the video itself appeared to be getting a lot of pickup. The platforms knew. They waited.— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
It's worth noting that the contemporary right-wing information ecosystem behaves differently from more “mainstream” environments, and so familiar dynamics might not show up in the same way— Parker Higgins (@xor) October 14, 2020
I think this is actually a very good use of the policy levers at its disposal. It is also doing this transparently, despite the fact that the censorship-howlers, who also think factchecking is censorship, immediately began howling about censorship.— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
No big shock there.
As far as the Biden article: FB is using "reduce" to enable "inform". It is buying some time for verification of a very significant story that itself falls under a different policy area - concern about the veracity of leaked material pursuant to an election.— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
It's *good* that FB is telling ppl that it did something, but it's not great that we are left guessing why they did it. (Imagine a scenario where they did limit distribution and didn't tell anyone, and it came out later).— Ryan Mac ? (@RMac18) October 14, 2020
To be fully transparent, FB needs to say why it did it.
BREAKING: A bunch of people who have given completely contradictory advice to social media giants for the last four years are shocked and outraged that social media giants are clueless.— Isaac Chotiner (@IChotiner) October 14, 2020
If I wanted to direct more attention to the Post’s dumb Hunter story, I would dubiously censor it on my social media platform. Obviously that isn’t what happened here, just saying that it seems like a bad move from every angle— Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz) October 14, 2020
Last week: these platforms need to be policed!!— firstname.lastname@example.org (@Jason) October 15, 2020
This week: how dare you censor me!!
Twitter says it's blocking tweets of NY Post story because story uses hacked material. What was hacked? If computer repair shop in Delaware had authorized access to computer not sure any hacking was involved. It's unauthorized use of data, but not really "hacked" data is it?— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) October 14, 2020
BREAKING: Twitter has blocked the NY Post article about Hunter Biden. If you attempt to share the story, you will see this message:— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 14, 2020
"We can't complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful." pic.twitter.com/TWaTKzvtQP
Commentary on or discussion about hacked materials, such as articles that cover them but do not include or link to the materials themselves, aren’t a violation of this policy. Our policy only covers links to or images of hacked material themselves.— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 14, 2020
This is a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war.— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) October 14, 2020
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
Arguing about whether a social network is a 'publisher' or a 'platform' is about as useful as arguing whether radio is a 'book' or a 'newspaper'. You have to engage with the issue, not spiral off into pedantic arguments about definitions. https://t.co/caEk3ux54j— Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) October 15, 2020
Kinda doubt anyone would’ve given a shit about the NY Post story if Twitter hadn’t taken it down— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) October 14, 2020
Twitter spokesperson tells me it’s blocking link because of the way the info was obtained: “In line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter.”— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) October 14, 2020
The factchecks eventually came out, 2 days after the fact. See my pinned tweet for how this all played out, and what impact those factchecks had.— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
Had they throttled distribution to give fact-checkers time to act, the spread of false info could have been managed far better.
New: Biden campaign responds to NY Post story. “The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story...moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” pic.twitter.com/yB2N5mvsXb— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) October 14, 2020
You're seeing the immense, unchallengeable, unaccountable power of Silicon Valley giants over the flow of information. Imagine if Google joins in.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 14, 2020
What's so amazing is that they never wanted this role. It was foisted on them by people, led by journalists, demanding they censor: https://t.co/cFBfV97Ylt
What I do agree with is that it’s bad for Facebook/Twitter to operate in this middle ground where they selectively invoke free speech principles to evade scrutiny of editorial decisions while *not* serving as common carriers and *sometimes* imposing editorial judgment after all.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) October 14, 2020
There are 3 action buckets FB (and most others) use for moderation: remove, reduce, inform. Remove is takedown - when that happens there is a discussion of censorship. Inform is factceck - when THAT happens there is ALSO a discussion of censorship, which is ridiculous ref-working— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
The last thing that surprises me is that Democrats like this are giddy about censorship. There's a huge authoritarian strain in US liberalism you're about to see vividly after the election.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 14, 2020
Mark Zuckerberg is a wise, benevolent Daddy figure who will protect us all: he knows best https://t.co/okZYLVqCtJ
Coming up with policies & new mechanisms to address virality, and curation, are two of the most significant things platforms and the public, and likely regulators, need to do to address the most destructive facets of the current information environment.— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
Facebook is reducing distribution of a story before it has been fact-checked. I don't know what the rule is that enables that. Not saying it's not the right call, but I can think of many other instances this could be useful too, so would like to know on what basis. https://t.co/6euzNSyZ7Q— evelyn douek (@evelyndouek) October 14, 2020
Thanks to Jack for handing tech opponents their biggest victory yet— Zak Kukoff (@zck) October 14, 2020
THIS IS BLATANT CENSORSHIP!— Marjorie Taylor Greene For Congress?? (@mtgreenee) October 14, 2020
The Silicon Valley Cartel has taken the First Amendment and ripped it to shreds.
Facebook's Democrat spokesman is proudly announcing their election interference.
When I get to Congress, Big Tech will be held accountable! https://t.co/izk7jEWLVp
Twitter and Facebook have higher standards for election disinformation than the fourth-largest newspaper in the United States.— Nu Wexler (@wexler) October 14, 2020
from @yashar, Twitter defends decisions based on "Hacked Material Policy."— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) October 14, 2020
What constitutes hacked material tho?
How about WikiLeaks state department cables?
Are Podesta emails now off-limits on Twitter?
here's their page. https://t.co/u2HRaA2IfL pic.twitter.com/VqHIyXcZcv
I am exasperated by all the ways FB has been careless, oblivious or inept - but I am also exasperated by the idea that anything that FB gets wrong is because of their malice or stupidity, and by the idea that Zuck has a big red button he could press to just fix all of this.— Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) October 14, 2020
One more thing: it is also an old Cold War disinformation tactic to pass information, especially but not exclusively when forged, to low-brow newspapers that have high circulation and low standards of investigation. Ideal for surfacing and amplification.— Thomas Rid (@RidT) October 14, 2020
And then there is "reduce" - throttling virality, not pushing the share of the content into the feeds of friends of the person sharing it. This is now apparently also being cast as censorship, because ppl are trying to reframe *distribution* as speech (when it is reach)— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) October 14, 2020
That explains some of the difference in the reactions to Twitter's policies on Blue Leaks and on this Post story. It's a big difference! Outside of the rightwing information ecosystem, Twitter can effectively make these things disappear. Inside it, maybe not.— Parker Higgins (@xor) October 14, 2020
a great deal of the FB is censoring speech comments right now ignores the fact that what you see on facebook is not just a raw feed of content (and suggests that there's absolutely no gaming of the system happening). these issues are complicated! https://t.co/SabPvzYvsF— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) October 14, 2020
For example, the Streisand Effect isn't really the issue when there's enough coordination or alignment among the handful of important information sources about what the day's story is— Parker Higgins (@xor) October 14, 2020
Facebook and Twitter are censoring people from being able to send links to a news article to each other.https://t.co/tqYGfZTrSe— Jack Smith (@_jacksmith) October 14, 2020
this is bullshit. why are they trying to censor DM's even? are they gonna try and censor what you talk about on phonecalls next? https://t.co/007ipDTBm8
This is a blockbuster story from @nypost. Watch and see if any cable news channels carry it: https://t.co/gd2baCW51h There will be questions and caution about authentication, but if @nytimes can run w/ pilfered bits of @realDonaldTrump tax returns, @NYPost can run w/this.— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) October 14, 2020
After this explosive New York Post investigation revealing Joe Biden LIED to the American people about his involvement in Hunter Biden's business deals...— Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 14, 2020
...the Biden campaign has CALLED A LID FOR THE DAY at 9:41 AM.
Biden is back in hiding! https://t.co/HMou7ncDzP
‘Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company’— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) October 14, 2020
Our editorial is leading the @nypost site right now. "No one is disputing the veracity of The Post’s story — not even Hunter Biden. ... Facebook is deliberately trying to keep its users from reading and deciding for themselves what it means." https://t.co/CA21lhEeaZ— Kelly Jane Torrance (@KJTorrance) October 14, 2020
Another good example of why you should join @parler_app!— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 14, 2020
“So much for Facebook’s claims to be a neutral platform: One of its top execs just put the social media giant firmly in the pro-Biden camp. And Twitter soon followed suit.” https://t.co/zhIEM54lUB
Twitter deliberately censored an article by @nypost in order to help the Biden Campaign for President— Free Speech Matters (@OutragedMary) October 15, 2020
An attack on Western Democracy by a California elite
As the New York Post said "Facebook and Twitter are not media platforms. They’re propaganda machines"https://t.co/521pTSvqLA
Social media platforms claim immunity from law suits because they say they’re neutral platforms....while they clearly engage in editing and censoring material they disagree with. Time to eliminate their Section 230 protections...which NYPost doesn’t have. https://t.co/Gg3Bw9DjEF— David Asman (@DavidAsmanfox) October 14, 2020
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Last year many of us in Congress warned that radical Democrats were impeaching President @realDonaldTrump to cover up the corrupt dealings within the Obama-Biden administration.— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) October 14, 2020
These new revelations are extremely troubling & demand a full investigation. https://t.co/uAbf8S2eoI
A must read from the @nypost. There is no doubt that Facebook and Twitter censored the Post's bombshell story because it harmed the Biden campaign.— Dan K. Eberhart (@DanKEberhart) October 15, 2020
They try to pass it off as protecting "hacked" info, but that's never stopped them before. Clear bias. https://t.co/BcD9XQZlWh
#JoeKnew about Burisma and Hunter’s crooked business dealings, met with Ukrainian officials, and did a #QuidProQuo to get a prosecutor looking into Burisma fired. Facebook and Twitter are trying to cover up the story #QuidProJoehttps://t.co/p7QWos9qWm— Giovanni ?? (@fuggedaboutitO1) October 14, 2020
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