Liberal website Vice doesn’t feel that Facebook went far enough in its attempt to censor the New York Post bombshell that a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden contained damaging emails and photos of the Democratic presidential nominee’s son.
Vice published a story Friday headlined, “Facebook Failed Miserably in its Attempt to Stop the Hunter Biden Story,” which noted that the damning “story has racked up over 54 million views” on the social media platform.
“Facebook has promised to curb the spread of disinformation, but new data shows that it has failed miserably. Its most recent challenge was trying to prevent an unconfirmed report about the contents of a laptop supposedly owned by Hunter Biden from going viral on its platform,” Vice’s David Gilbert wrote.
Both Twitter and Facebook took steps to stop the widespread dissemination of the explosive New York Post report that purported to show emails from Hunter Biden linking his father to his Ukraine business dealings.
“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,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone tweeted last week. “In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”
Gilbert oddly and inaccurately claimed “Facebook escaped criticism” for its strategy to reduce distribution of the Post’s story on Hunter Biden despite Senate Republicans calling on Facebook honchos to testify as a result of the company’s censorship of the article.
President Trump himself even criticized Facebook, in a tweet that Vice apparently missed.
“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 [New York Post],” Trump tweeted. “It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician.”
Gilbert then explained that “Facebook’s efforts didn’t do much to stop the story from spreading” after all.
“Since the New York Post story was published on Oct. 14, it has received 2,164,601 interactions, with 54,115,025 estimated views on Facebook, according to new research conducted by digital rights group Avaaz and shared with VICE News,” Gilbert wrote. “But an even more startling and worrying statistic from Avaaz’s research highlights how Facebook has failed to get a handle on the spread of disinformation on its platform since the 2016 election.”
The mainstream media has largely ignored or downplayed the initial Post report that revealed a 2015 email Hunter Biden allegedly received from a member of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, who appeared to thank him for “giving an opportunity” to meet his father, then-Vice President Biden.
The former vice president had long claimed that he did not talk to his son about his business dealings, but evidence from the laptop seems to contradict that point. Additional allegations related to the laptop have since come out, including an email that appeared to detail a business arrangement involving a Chinese company and members of the Biden family — but the mainstream media had essentially ignored it until Kristen Welker finally brought it up during Thursday’s presidential debate.
Biden has dismissed any wrongdoing, and Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., sent a scathing letter to NPR president and CEO John Lansing on Friday, condemning the nonprofit media organization for admitting it wouldn’t cover the ongoing scandal that Facebook attempted to mute.
But Vice isn’t satisfied with the near blackout of media coverage and scolded the tech giant for allowing users once deemed shady to share the report.
“Avaaz found that among those sharing the New York Post story was a network of more than 200 pages and groups — with a combined following of 13 million users — which had previously been identified by Avaaz as serial spreaders of disinformation,” Gilbert wrote.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.