(ConservativePeak.com)- Republican Senator Josh Hawley published a letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, demanding answers over the social media platform’s decision to throttle the sharing of a story about the son of Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
The story focused on several emails that were legally obtained from a laptop that was left at a computer repair store in Delaware but never picked up. The store’s owner took a copy of the hard drive of a laptop that appears to have been owned by Hunter Biden before the laptop was handed over to federal law enforcement officials for investigation.
In its report, the New York Post revealed how emails show that Hunter Biden set up a meeting between an executive at Ukrainian gas company Burisma and his father, Joe Biden, when he was vice president.
Despite the fact that the emails were obtained legally, social media giant Twitter chose tio block the sharing of the story under their rules against sharing information obtained via “hacking.” Facebook also throttled the sharing of the story.
Facebook communications official Andy Stone defended the move, saying that the story is “eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners” and that, in the meantime, they are “reducing its distribution on our platform.”
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
Stone also claimed that this was a standard process, but no such action was taken when the Trump tax return stories went viral and inaccurately reported that he paid less in taxes than most working Americans.
The story, however, was published by a legitimate and reputable news organization. The emails reported on in the story are also currently under investigation by the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Senator Josh Hawley described how Facebook’s actions appeared “selective” and suggested “partiality.”
“And your efforts to suppress the distribution of content revealing potentially unethical activity by a candidate for president raises several additional questions, to which I expect responses immediately,” Hawley added.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
Hawley also asked a series of questions, including whether it is normal policy to reduce the distribution of stories on their platform before they have been fact checked, and if they have any evidence that the news story from the New York Post contained “disinformation.”
The letter also asked whether a member of the Biden-Harris presidential campaign asked or encouraged them to suppress the story.
If they did, do you think Facebook would admit it?