Facebook announced on Wednesday they will be "reducing" the spread of the new New York Post story about Hunter Biden, which claims new emails and photos shed light on his foreign business dealings, as it undergoes a review by "third-party fact checking partners."
The announcement was made by Andy Stone, who currently works as Policy Communications Manager for Facebook. In his tweet, he made it a point to not link to the Post's story, adding, "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."
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
Stone has a history of working for Democrats before joining Facebook. According to Stone's LinkedIn, he has previously worked as a western regional press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a press secretary for former Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and a communications director for House Majority PAC.
Stone was heavily criticized for the decision:
Democrat operatives at Facebook are suppressing information about Democrat corruption weeks before a presidential election.— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) October 14, 2020
They don't even dispute the story. They don't have a shred of evidence it isn't true. They don't just want it to spread. https://t.co/Fiyk731wBU pic.twitter.com/EctzGc5biR
Facebook acted anticompetitive to gain monopoly power. They’ve continued to censor conservatives, and now they’re sweeping negative stories about Biden under the rug. It’s time to reform Section 230. https://t.co/dwrMSDq86j— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) October 14, 2020
So @Facebook is going to actively censor a @nypost investigative story on the Democrat candidate for president. But rest assured, Facebook is a neutral platform with no political viewpoints! https://t.co/xKnTRIWUip— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
Has Facebook ever preemptively limited a story from a major media outlet to verify it’s true without a specific reason to doubt it? https://t.co/R5zpR5bbGs— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) October 14, 2020
The Post reported, citing obtained emails, that "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."
The Post also published never-before-seen photos of Hunter, including one where there is a crack pipe in his mouth as he is sleeping, saying they were from a hard drive that was from a computer that was dropped off at a repair shop and was never paid for or retrieved.
Biden's presidential campaign said no such meeting took place:
Stone sent a second tweet saying it is "our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review."
This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review. https://t.co/vf3CBvLmjj— Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020
The Trump campaign pointed out how "the Biden campaign does not dispute the authenticity of the emails published by the New York Post, which serves to confirm that they are real."
???? INBOX —> @TeamTrump statement on Biden response to NY Post Bombshell:— Abigail Marone ???? (@abigailmarone) October 14, 2020
“The Biden campaign does not dispute the authenticity of the emails published by the New York Post, which serves to confirm that they are real,” says @TimMurtaugh pic.twitter.com/2UScI1pQ45
Twitter is now also censoring the Post story as users tweeted they are unable to tweet the story. When someone tries to tweet the link, a prompt pops up and says, "We can't complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful."
In addition, when users try to clink on links that were already tweeted, it brings them to a page that reads, "The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe, in accordance with Twitter’s URL Policy."
WATCH: Twitter is blocking users from posting an news story they don’t like. pic.twitter.com/359PdR5ttv— Abigail Marone ???? (@abigailmarone) October 14, 2020
A spokesperson for Twitter said they are blocking the link to the Post story because it is "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."
Twitter's policy says you can't use it "to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information". Company says it's taking this action because of the lack of authoritative reporting about the origins of the materials in the NY Post piece— Shannon Bond (@shannonpareil) October 14, 2020