The New York Post’s opinion editor said the publication has been “very transparent” with how it handled a hard drive that allegedly belonged to Joe Biden’s son Hunter and contained purported emails that point to deals with Ukrainian and Chinese officials. He calls on readers to “judge it for yourself without letting the narrative be shaped for you before you’ve had a chance to read it.”
“We were very transparent about what we knew and what we didn’t know. And we reported it out very meticulously. And then, [in the] morning we published it,” said Sohrab Ahmari, the editor, in an interview with Epoch Times on Friday.
After the story was published earlier this week, it quickly went viral on various social media websites. However, it was later found that Twitter blocked sharing the article and added warning labels, while a Facebook executive, Andy Stone, said the platform would limit the spread of the article and allow its third-party fact-checkers to evaluate the contents. Some users who shared the link were locked out of their Twitter accounts, including New York Post itself and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
As of Friday, it “seems like Twitter unlocked at least the initial Ukraine story. So now you can share it and your viewers can find it anywhere,” he added. “You can find it on our website NYPost.com, they can see for themselves, both the kind of depth and quality of the reporting.”
The move drew several comments from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey himself, who first said on Wednesday night that communication around the blocking of the article was poor.
We beat Twitter’s cyber-totalitarianism. The link works. Thanks to all our friends who stood with Alexander Hamilton’s newspaper. https://t.co/620xFfzfwS
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) October 16, 2020
Later, Dorsey admitted that “straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix.” He added: “Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that.”
Twitter initially claimed the NY Post article violated its policies on “personal and private information” and violations of its Hacked Materials Policy. “Commentary on or discussion about hacked materials, such as articles that cover them but do not include or link to the materials themselves, aren’t a violation of this policy. Our policy only covers links to or images of hacked material themselves,” Twitter stated.
But for Ahmari, the damage appears to have been done.
The move from Twitter and Facebook, which announced it had limited the reach of the NY Post’s initial story, “just goes to show how much unaccountable power these tech monopolies wield, where our freedom speech today lives or dies on these platforms,” he remarked. “And, you know … if freedom speech is real, and it matters, it has to be real on these platforms, and yet, it’s hostage to the whims of Silicon Valley billionaires, it seems.”
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign refuted the NY Post’s report, saying Joe Biden met with an executive at Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings.
“Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump Administration officials have attested to these facts under oath,” the Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to news outlets on Wednesday.
With reporting from Jan Jekielek.