Opinion

Twitter, Facebook Suppression of Hunter Biden Scandal Backfires Spectacularly

The New York Post’s explosive exposé on Hunter Biden’s ties to Ukraine is certainly a newsworthy story in and of itself.

The damning report, published last week, allegedly shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s frequent denials that he knew anything about his son’s potentially shady dealings in Ukraine were forgetful at best and downright dishonest at worst.

But an interesting thing happened along the way, as social media giants like Twitter and Facebook began suppressing the story for a litany of dubious reasons.

All of a sudden, the story about the story had become the story. And it appears that those attempts at suppression only fueled the original story to massive heights.

According to Axios, which cited data from NewsWhip, the Hunter Biden article became the biggest election-related story of the week despite attempts at squelching it.

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Articles about the overall Hunter Biden scandal had 4.7 million Facebook and Twitter interactions, with the Post article itself accounting for 2.6 million interactions on its own.

The story about the story, the social media suppression, garnered 2.8 million interactions.

In total, the Hunter Biden story and the subsequent fallout from it accounted for 7.5 million Facebook and Twitter interactions between Oct. 12 and Oct. 19.

For comparison, the next most viral election-related story involved various celebrities endorsing Biden or criticizing Trump, with those types of articles garnering 2.8 million interactions.

Rounding out the most popular election-related stories were articles involving criticisms of NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, at 1.9 million interactions, and Rudy Giuliani’s daughter endorsing Biden, which notched 1.1 million interactions.

Axios reported, “Critics worried that Twitter’s move to disable sharing of the article (it also suspended the New York Post’s account) and Facebook’s decision to limit its reach may have inadvertently brought it even more attention.”

Frankly, those critics were probably right.

There’s a very real chance that the original Hunter Biden story would’ve gone through a more standard news cycle lifespan, with Biden supporters ignoring the story and Trump supporters latching onto it.

Instead, it appears as though the story has extra legs and even more widespread coverage because of the attempts to silence it.

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The irony of it all is readily apparent.

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