Houston, we have a misfire.
It turns out Twitter’s targeted efforts to censor the New York Post’s bombshell story on the Biden family not only put a target on the platform’s back for lawmakers, but it also ensured even more people saw the story than would have otherwise.
According to Technology Review, Zignal Labs, a media intelligence firm, found that user shares of the NYP story “nearly doubled” from about 5,000 shares every 15 minutes to about 10,000 after Twitter began suppressing the story and suspending the accounts of anyone who shared the link. The story was shared roughly shared 352,200 times on Twitter and another 324,000 times on public groups and pages on Facebook, which, while they didn’t go so far as to outright ban the story, had publicly admitted to suppressing it on the platform.
The New York Post story included purported emails, taken from a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden, that revealed Hunter had introduced his father to an advisor to the Board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that a company that paid Hunter $50,000 a month, and which then-Vice president Biden may have helped protect from investigation by getting a top Ukrainian prosecutor fired. Another NY Post story included other emails that, if true, show Hunter Biden negotiating an equity stake in a Chinese holding company for which he was paid $10 million to provide “introductions,” an arrangement Hunter described in the alleged email as “interesting to me and my family.”
Biden has previously claimed that he “never even talked” with Hunter about his dealings with Burisma or any other overseas business.
Before quickly changing their rules under threat of legal action from several GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Twitter had suspended the accounts of the Trump campaign, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Newsbusters’ Curtis Houck, and multiple reporters with conservative news outlets – and even some in the mainstream media – just for sharing the link to the story on the platform.