Home <i>NY Post</i> on Twitter

NY Post on Twitter

By Jon Sutz


Name: NY Post
Twitter handle: @nypost
On Twitter since: November 2008
Twitter follower count as of April 2022: 2,500,000
Notable because: The NY Post is America’s oldest newspaper, published continuously since 1801.

Summary

Twitter’s actions against the NY Post in the closing weeks of the 2020 presidential race caused a seismic reaction across the political spectrum, by those who, regardless of party, value the vital necessity of enabling citizens to easily access relevant information about their leaders — and aspiring leaders. There are a lot of moving parts, and precedent, that pertain to the specific decisions Twitter made, and how it explained those decisions.

Here is a very brief summary of the vital facts:

  • On October 14, 2020, the NY Post published an expose’ on Hunter Biden, based on evidence that strongly indicated Joe Biden lied when he repeatedly stated he’d never discussed, nor did any favors for his son’s business interests or contacts, during his tenure as Vice President. The NY Post posted the link to this article on Twitter.

    The NY Post’s expose’ revealed the first physical evidence that refuted Biden’s denials, as in this USA Today story from September 25, 2019.
  • Less than ten hours later, Twitter shut down the NY Post’s account, and said it would not be reactivated until it removed the post promoting its Hunter Biden expose’. It also prevented any user from posting a link to the report. This action stands in sharp contrast to Twitter’s de facto policy, over the past five years, of allowing bombastic but evidence-less allegations of wrongdoing by Republicans, including those that were based on hacked materials, as it did three weeks earlier regarding the NY Times’ report on the contents of Trump’s tax returns, which were obtained without his permission.
  • The NY Post refused to remove its story, asserting it was evidence-based, thoroughly researched, and did not violated any of Twitter’s policies.
  • Several weeks later, Twitter relented, re-activated the NY Post’s account, and its CEO at the time, Jack Dorsey, publicly admitted it was “a mistake” to shut down its account.
  • Twitter’s suppression of the NY Post report helped to produce measurable effects on the 2020 presidential election: 16% of Biden voters later said that had they been aware, prior to the election, of the evidence regarding his apparent lies regarding his son’s business affairs — and other stories that contained substantive criticism of Biden or Kamala Harris, but which the media suppressed — they would have changed their votes.

Contents

Preface & background

(1) Establishing the baseline: The media’s four-year crusade against Trump and his children, which Twitter enabled, even though much of it was based on evidence-less allegations

(2) What was known and strongly suspected about Hunter Biden’s corruption, and Joe Biden’s probable involvement in it, prior to October 2020

(3) September 27, 2020, 5:10pm: Twitter allowed the New York Times to post a Tweet about President Trump’s tax returns — which it knew were not accessed with his consent — and enabled 56,200 users to share it

Twitter’s Draconian actions against the NY Post, and anyone who tried to share the link to its Hunter Biden laptop expose

(4) October, 14, 2020, 5:00am: The NY Post published a Tweet promoting its expose’ on some of the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, and how it substantively challenged his father’s repeated claims that he had nothing to do with, and didn’t profit from his son’s business dealings

(5) October 14, 2020: 2:20pm: Twitter shut down the NY Post’s account until it removed its Hunter Biden expose’ — and prevented users from posting it

(6) Evidence emerged that supported the NY Post’s expose’ on Hunter Biden, and his abandoned laptop

(7) October 15-16, 2022: Twitter defended its actions, then reversed itself — but the NY Post claimed it was still being blocked

(8) October 28, 2020: Twitter CEO’s testimony before Congress on its decision to take such unprecedented, extreme action against the NY Post, and those who wished to share its expose’

(9) October 30, 2020: Twitter finally unlocked the NY Post’s account — 4 days before the election

(10) Twitter’s CEO later admitted it was “a total mistake” to block the NY Post’s expose’

(11) Additional reading


(1) Establishing the baseline: The media’s four-year crusade against Trump and his children, which Twitter enabled, even though much of it was based on evidence-less allegations

For four years, from 2016-2020, the mainstream media pushed numerous false, evidence-less allegations against Republicans, most notably the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy hoax, that we now know was conjured up and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The biggest social media companies, including Twitter, allowed the biggest left-of-center news organizations, pundits and influencers to post stories and commentaries supporting this hoax. The centerpiece of this media “jihad” was the fraudulent “Steele Dossier,” a secret document that was strategically leaked to the farleft “BuzzFeed,” which claims it is a “news” organization, then went viral on social media – including on Twitter — and it still remains posted as of April 28, 2022:


The following are some examples of the incendiary news items that were allowed to freely flow throughout our information ecosystem, including on Twitter, without any obstruction:

How the Trump Kids Have Profited Off Their Dad’s Presidency GQ, October 14, 2019.

The media needs to focus on Trump’s family corruptionThe Washington Post, October 13, 2019.

Family values: why Trump’s children are key to his re-election campaignThe Guardian (UK), May 24, 2020.

Why Has the Trump Organization Been Gouging the Secret Service? Dems Would Sure Like to Know Vanity Fair, February 13, 2020.

Donald Trump’s Children Attacked & Treated Differently Than Democrats’ ChildrenNational Review, December 3, 2016.

Ten Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story – The Intercept, January 20 2019.

Fact check: Claim on Trump White House nepotism is partly falseUSA Today, September 16, 2020.


(2) What was known and strongly suspected about Hunter Biden’s corruption, and Joe Biden’s probable involvement in it, prior to October 2020

There was plenty of substantive investigative reporting on Hunter Biden’s corruption prior to October 2020, but unfortunately, it was performed and only appeared in right-of-center news organizations, and on Fox News – which had only 10% of the US TV news audience at the time. This means that the vast majority of Americans who are genuinely concerned about corruption and self-dealing at the highest levels of our government either never heard about the evidence showing indications of massive Biden family corruption, or only heard items that dismissed or ridiculed the allegations.

Here is a sampling of the reporting on Biden family corruption prior to October 2020:

Joe Biden Won’t Admit His Son’s Ukraine Work Was Wrong – The Intercept, December 7, 2019.

New Senate report reveals shocking corruption involving Hunter BidenWashington Times, September 27, 2020.

Wow: ABC Actually Covers Corruption Concerns About Biden’s Son – Newsbusters, June 20, 2019.

Joe and Hunter Biden: Three questions about Ukraine corruptionChristian Science Monitor, September 30, 2019.

Book: Profiles in Corruption – by Peter Schweizer (HarperCollins), March 20, 2018.


(3) September 27, 2020, 5:10pm: Twitter allowed the New York Times to post a Tweet about President Trump’s tax returns — which it knew were not accessed with his consent

This incident occurred just 17 days before Twitter decided to shut down the NY Post’s account, on October 14 — hours after it posted its expose’ on Hunter Biden’s laptop:


It is a felony to access or disclose anyone’s tax returns, or the information they contain, without their explicit permission

This is not even debatable. From Section (a)(3) of 26 U.S. Code § 7213:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to whom any return or return information (as defined in section 6103(b)) is disclosed in a manner unauthorized by this title thereafter willfully to print or publish in any manner not provided by law any such return or return information. Any violation of this paragraph shall be a felony punishable by a fine in any amount not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.

It is inconceivable that the NY Times, and Twitter’s lawyers, did not know this basic fact. Yet Twitter allowed the NY Times to publish the link to promote its story – and its Tweet was still published as of April 22, 2022:


The NY Times’ story is behind a paywall, so here are some other news organizations’ coverage of its disclosure:

5 takeaways from NY Times report on Trump’s tax returns – AP News, September 27, 2020.

New York Times publishes details of Donald Trump’s tax returnsThe Guardian (UK), September 27, 2020.

Trump’s NYTimes Tax Return Investigation: 13 Key Takeaways New York Magazine, Sept. 29, 2020.

Trump taxes: 5 key takeaways from experts on New York Times story – USA Today, September 29, 2020.


(4) October, 14, 2020, 5:00am: The NY Post published a Tweet promoting its expose’ on some of the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, and how it substantively challenged his father’s repeated claims that he had nothing to do with, and didn’t profit from his son’s business dealings

On October 14, 2020 at 5:00am, the NY Post published this story:

Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dadNY Post, October 14, 2020, 5:00am. Excerpt (emphasis added):

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, according to emails obtained by The Post.

The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads.

An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.

The blockbuster correspondence — which flies in the face of Joe Biden’s claim that he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings” — is contained in a massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer. […]

Photos of a Delaware federal subpoena given to The Post show that both the computer and hard drive were seized by the FBI in December, after the shop’s owner says he alerted the feds to their existence.

Hunter Biden subpoena

At 6:00pm on October 14, this story was covered in-depth on “Special Report” on Fox News:


(5) October 14, 2020: 2:20pm: Twitter shut down the NY Post’s account until it removed its Hunter Biden expose’ — and prevented users from posting it

Within a few hours of the NY Post publishing its expose’ on its website, and on Twitter, the social media behemoth inserted an overlay atop its post, that warned users:

“Warning: this link may be unsafe

https://nypost.com/2020/10/14/email-reveals-how-hunter-biden-introduced-ukrainian-biz-man-to-dad/

“The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe”

At 2:20pm on October 14, Twitter shut down the NY Post’s account. As reported by the newspaper at 4:14pm (emphasis added):

“The Post’s primary Twitter account was locked as of 2:20 p.m. Wednesday because its articles about the messages obtained from Biden’s laptop broke the social network’s rules against “distribution of hacked material,” according to an email The Post received from Twitter.

Twitter also blocked users from sharing the link to The Post article indicating that Hunter Biden introduced Joe Biden to the Ukrainian businessman, calling the link “potentially harmful.”

“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,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Post in a statement.


(6) Evidence emerged that supported the NY Post’s expose’ on Hunter Biden, and his abandoned laptop

In the days following the NY Post’s expose’, various information emerged that supported its core contentions of what the evidence showed:

Hunter Biden Business Partner Confirms Email Showing Joe Biden Was Offered 10 Percent StakeNational Review, .

Joe Biden’s son, his crack pipe – and a new low in the dirtiest US electionDaily Mail Online (UK), October 15, 2020.

FBI looks for Russia link in Hunter Biden data given to NY Post USA Today, October 17, 2020.

Hunter Biden Laptop Claims: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know – Heavy.com, October 22, 2020.

One of the many photos on Hunter Biden’s laptop, revealing the depth of his drug addiction, in this case, with a crack pipe hanging out of his mouth.

(7) October 15-16, 2022: Twitter defended its actions, then reversed itself — but the NY Post claimed it was still being blocked

On October 16, 2020 at 9:34am, Reuters published the following report:

Twitter backtracks, allows users to post previously blocked NY Post article, Reuters, October 16, 2020. Excerpt:

Twitter Inc TWTR.N on Friday confirmed it reversed its decision to block links to a New York Post article about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, despite reaffirming the ban late on Thursday. […]

Twitter acknowledged Friday it had stopped blocking links to early versions of the New York Post articles, saying the private information included in them had become widely available in the press and on other platforms.

The company’s policy chief Vijaya Gadde said Thursday night that Twitter had decided to make changes to its hacked materials policy following feedback, but a spokesman told Reuters that the New York Post story would still be blocked for “violating the rules on private personal information.”

At 6:53pm on October 16, the NY Post refuted Twitter’s claim:

Twitter still holding The Post’s account hostage over Hunter Biden links, NY Post, October 16, 2020. Excerpt:

Twitter has refused to unlock The Post’s account unless the news organization deletes six tweets about its own reporting on Hunter Biden’s emails — despite a policy change sparked by outrage over that very same social-media suppression of the stories.

In a Friday afternoon email, a Twitter representative told The Post, “While we’ve updated the policy, we don’t change enforcement retroactively. You will still need to delete the Tweets to regain access to your account.”

The demand that The Post remove links to its own stories came even though a new policy announced Thursday night allows other users to tweet the very same links.


(8) Twitter CEO’s testimony before Congress on its decision to take such unprecedented, extreme action against the NY Post, and those who wished to share its expose’

On October 28, 2020 — six days before the presidential election — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the US Senate, along with other top social media CEOs, regarding their suppression of right-of-center news and opinion, most recently in regards to the NY Post expose’ on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questioned Dorsey, as reported by the NY Post:

“We didn’t want Twitter to be a distributor for hacked materials,” [Dorsey] claimed. “We found that the New York Post — because it showed the direct materials, screenshots of the direct materials, and it was unclear how those were obtained — that it fell under this policy.”

Cruz blasted Dorsey for erring on the side of censorship.

“They [The Post] weren’t hiding what they claimed to be the source,” the lawmaker said. “Is it your position that Twitter, when you can’t tell the source, blocks press stories?”

“No, not at all,” Dorsey responded. “Our team made a fast decision. The enforcement action, however, of blocking URLs, both in tweets and in DMs — in direct messages — we believe was incorrect, and we changed it.” […]

“We’re not blocking The Post…” [Dorsey] tried to claim, before being cut off by Cruz.

“Can the New York Post post on their Twitter account?” the lawmaker pressed.

Dorsey separately said the New York Post, which remains locked out of its Twitter account, “[has] to log into their account, which they can do at this minute, delete the original tweet, which fell under our original enforcement actions, and they can tweet the exact same material to the exact same article and it would go through.”

Also as reported by the NY Post, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) questioned Dorsey:

[Johnson] pressed the Twitter head on whether the company had any evidence that Hunter Biden emails were doctored or an example of foreign disinformation.

“We don’t,” Dorsey flatly replied.

And pressed on why Twitter stemmed the story’s spread under its “hacked materials” policy — despite The Post clearly explaining the origin of the Hunter Biden documents — Dorsey too conceded that they had no evidence of a hack.

“We judged in the moment,” he said. “It looked like it was hacked materials.”

Interjected Johnson, “You were wrong!”


(9) October 30, 2020: Twitter finally unlocked the NY Post‘s account — 4 days before the election

On October 30, 2020 at 6:00pm, the NY Post published this story:

How tweet it is: Twitter backs down, unlocks Post’s account, NY Post, October 30, 2020. Excerpt:

Twitter backed down Friday in its battle with The Post and unlocked its main account after a two-week stalemate over the Hunter Biden exposé.

The move came after The Post refused Twitter’s demand that it delete six tweets that linked to stories that the company claimed — without any evidence — were based on hacked information.

The Post never budged, and kept the tweets on the account during the standoff — even as Twitter obscured them from view.

In a series of tweets, the social-media giant said it was revising its “Hacked Materials Policy” and “updating our practice of not retroactively overturning prior enforcement.”

“Our policies are living documents,” said one of the tweets from @TwitterSafety.

“We’re willing to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback from the public.”

The Post immediately celebrated the victory with a tweet declaring “We’re baaaaaaack” and an image of the tabloid’s Saturday front page, with the headline “FREE BIRD!”

twitter unlocks New York Post's account


(10) Twitter’s CEO later admitted it was “a total mistake” to block the NY Post’s expose’

Jack Dorsey says blocking Post’s Hunter Biden story was ‘total mistake’ — but won’t say who made itNY Post, March 25, 2021.

Apparently following Twitter’s lead, numerous top “news” organizations either ignored the NY Post expose’, or worked with left-of-center partisan activists to discredit it, before the evidence it claimed supported its allegations could even be investigated.

It was only more than a year later that some of these complicit organizations publicly admitted they were wrong:

One year later, The Post’s Hunter Biden reporting is vindicated — but still buried NY Post, October 12, 2021.

The New York Times Belatedly Admits the Emails on Hunter Biden’s Abandoned Laptop Are Real and Newsworthy Reason, March 17, 2022.

Washington Post admits Hunter Biden laptop is real NY Post, March 30, 2022.

Media Bias and Hunter’s Laptop Wall St. Journal, April 12, 2022.

House Republicans grill Twitter on ‘censorship’ of ‘damning’ Hunter Biden emails – Fox Business, April 7, 2022.

Journalists lose face after NYT confirms Hunter Biden emails not Russian disinformation – WPMI (NBC – Alabama), March 17 2022.


(11) Additional reading

Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech, and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide – Miranda Devine, published November 30, 2021 (Post Hill Press). A definitive insider’s account of this incident, by a NY Post editor, Miranda Devine.

Media Bias and Hunter’s LaptopWall St. Journal, April 12, 2022.

Poll: One In Six Biden Voters Would Have Changed Their Vote If They Had Known About Scandals Suppressed By Media – The Federalist, November 24, 2020.

Protecting the President: Big Tech Censors Biden Criticism 646 Times Over Two Years – Newsbusters, April 21, 2022.

Two-thirds of Americans say Hunter Biden laptop ‘important’ story: poll NY Post, March 25, 2022.

Hunter Biden: Independent Source Confirms Authenticity of Damning Emails National Review, .

Democrats still believe Clinton won in 2016 Washington Examiner, April 21, 2022.

One year later, The Post’s Hunter Biden reporting is vindicated — but still buried NY Post, October 12, 2021.

The New York Times Belatedly Admits the Emails on Hunter Biden’s Abandoned Laptop Are Real and Newsworthy Reason, March 17, 2022.

For broader context, here is a video featuring Sharyl Attkisson, the long-term CBS journalist who won five Emmy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and numerous other accolades for her fiercely nonpartisan investigative reporting. Her website is here.


The Google Factor

Lastly, although this report focuses on Twitter, there are several other hugely influential social media tech players that have also been engaging in elevating some political voices, while suppressing others — despite their repeated testimony to Congress that they do no such thing.

One of them is Google, the most widely-used search engine.

Here is an article about Dr. Robert Epstein, a data scientist who is a lifelong Democrat, and a 2016 Hillary Clinton voter, who exposed how Google’s biased search results helped skew the 2016 race for Clinton:

Dr. Robert Epstein: Study claims Google reflected ‘very dramatic bias’ in 2016 election search results – Fox News, September 8, 2019.

Although Dr. Epstein’s findings do not relate to Twitter, it should also be viewed in the context of the fact that Google executives and officials visited the Obama White House on average more than once a week, every week, for the seven straight years prior to the 2016 election:

Google workers met had 427 meetings at White House over Obama presidencyDaily Mail Online (UK), April 23, 2016.

That breaks down to an average of 1.2 meetings per week between Google and the Obama administration, over the 353 weeks this analysis covers.

A few questions:

  • For what reason would any technology company want to communicate, in person, with a US President or his representatives, with such frequency?
  • Why would a US President grant such frequent access to his office, and the executive mansion, to any technology company that is so heavily involved in providing citizens’ access to — or creating obstacles to finding — political information on the Internet?

The answers to these questions are likely be almost identical to the answer as to why Twitter perpetrated such a consequential act of information suppression, that it must have known would influence the 2020 presidential election, possibly decisively. But in the case of Google, the fact that its CEO was an overt supporter of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign gives strong indication of what was actually happening:

Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt Gave Advice to Clinton Campaign, Leaked Emails ShowWall St. Journal, November 2, 2016.

Google’s Support for Hillary Clinton – Tech Transparency Project, November 22, 2016.

Eric Schmidt played a crucial role in Hillary Clinton’s election tech — Quartz, .