Teresa Kroeger / Getty Images for World Food Program USAHunter Biden speaks on stage at the World Food Program USA’s Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at the Organization of American States on April 12, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Teresa Kroeger / Getty Images for World Food Program USA)
October is either too early or too late for Groundhog Day.
It’s actually quite a bit closer to next Feb. 2 than this previous one — but, on the other hand, this is an election year and pretty much every day since February has felt like Groundhog Day, so I’m going to go with too late.
Either way, it would explain why — one day after drawing the ire of pretty much everyone for digitally smothering a similar story from the New York Post — Twitter decided it wanted to go and play in the muck again, this time censoring a story regarding Hunter Biden allegedly trying to cash in with a Chinese company.
According to the story, published Thursday by the Post, Biden pursued deals in the country with an unnamed “big guy” that would be “interesting for me and my family.”
“One email sent to Biden on May 13, 2017, with the subject line ‘Expectations,’ included details of ‘remuneration packages’ for six people involved in an unspecified business venture,” the Post reported.
“Biden was identified as ‘Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC,’ an apparent reference to the former Shanghai-based conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co.
“His pay was pegged at ‘850’ and the email also noted that ‘Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate.’”
Apparently unaware or heedless of what the kids like to call the “Streisand effect,” this is what Twitter decided to do:
Yes, just a day — 24 little hours, as Dinah Washington might put it — after Jack Dorsey and others basically booked themselves a ticket to Capitol Hill in the near future, they decided, hey, things aren’t bad enough for us already. Why don’t we make it a two-fer?
Just in case you’ve forgotten, Twitter heavily censored a story which had to do with emails recovered from a laptop allegedly left by Hunter Biden at a computer repair shop in 2019 and never picked up.
The reason why it wasn’t picked up wasn’t made clear, although plenty of us have forgotten our MacBook Pros with sensitive information on them at repair shops for extended periods. This is normal.
The first story had to do with Hunter Biden reportedly saying he would set up a meeting between his father and a Ukrainian bigwig. This time, of course, it had to do with China. Same thing.
“Unbelievable. Yesterday, @twitter blocks links to @nypost story alleging Joe Biden corruption on China,” Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Thursday.
“TODAY, blocking links to ANOTHER NYPost story alleging Hunter Biden sold access to communist China for millions.”
Twitter said it wouldn’t allow users to share the first story in part because the article included hacked information and the company didn’t want to “incentivize hacking.”
Twitter also claimed it was censoring the Post’s story because “the images contained in the articles include personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers — which violate our rules.”
Even if Twitter is following its own guidelines, it’s not a stretch to say that the platform is doing so for the wrong reason — because Twitter doesn’t want a story that makes the Bidens look bad to go viral.
Of course, if this was a Trump kid, there wouldn’t even be a question of censorship — and even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted they’d handled this poorly:
Whether or not Dorsey’s mea culpa will matter is anyone’s guess. What’s clear is that social media CEOs — including Dorsey — will be up on Capitol Hill yet again.
As well they should be.
What’s clear is that this wouldn’t have happened if the target had the last name Trump. No one at Twitter would care a whit about this. In fact, sharing this information would be encouraged, one guesses.
One thing’s for sure, however: This is going to be the subject of some fairly intense questioning in the very near future, and one of those subjects is going to be Dorsey. Get your popcorn ready.
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