Republican Lawmakers Demand Answers From Facebook Over Censorship of Hunter Biden News Report

October 14, 2020 Updated: October 14, 2020

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) pushed for answers from Facebook’s CEO Wednesday on why they censored the New York Post’s reporting about alleged communications between Hunter Biden a with top Ukraine energy official and then-Vice President Joe Biden.

The Missouri Republican sent a letter (pdf) to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioning the tech leader about his company’s action to limit the distribution of the newly released New York Post story alleging that Hunter Biden facilitated a meeting with a Ukrainian energy executive and his father.

Andy Stone, Facebook’s communications manager, posted a tweet Wednesday about narrowing the reach of the article alleging Hunter Biden introduced Joe Biden, to a top Ukraine energy official.

“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want to be clear that this story is eligible to be fact-checked by Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform,” posted Stone.

Hawley, who sits on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee which has been leading an investigation into Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine when his father was Vice President, elaborated in his letter concerns he shared earlier in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

“The seemingly selective nature of this public intervention suggests partiality on the part of Facebook,” Hawley wrote. “And your efforts to suppress the distribution of content revealing potentially unethical activity by a candidate for president raises a number of additional questions.”

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Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in a file photograph. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) also sent a stern message to Facebook about the restriction of the article.

“Facebook’s decision to ‘reduce distribution’ of the nypost’s reporting on Joe Biden’s ties to Burisma is a grave threat to our democracy. If Facebook continues to use its monopoly to control what news Americans have access to, they will face severe consequences,” Collins wrote.

Stone said the story would be reviewed by third-party fact-checkers; a step taken by the company on news articles they consider to raise concerns about misinformation. Hawley queried Facebook if restricting news stories from credible news outlets before fact-checking is normal practice.

In addition, Hawley said he wants to know whether Facebook has any concrete evidence that the article is inaccurate.

“If you have evidence that this news story contains ‘disinformation’ or have otherwise determined that there are inaccuracies with the reporting, will you disclose them to the public so that they can assess your findings,” Hawley wrote.

Hawley went on to question Zuckerberg on whether the Biden campaign or any of the former vice president’s representatives had contacted Facebook to suppress the story.

To make his point about Facebook’s partiality clearer, Hawley referenced the fact that Facebook employees donated almost 5 million dollars to the Biden campaign and less than 250,000 to the Trump campaign.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been leading efforts to hold big tech companies accountable for curbing free speech, especially of conservatives, and criticized them, writing: “BigTech is the greatest threat to our democracy and free speech.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

Earlier Wednesday, The Trump campaign accused Facebook of interfering in the election.“Facebook is actively interfering in the election,” the campaign tweeted. “Facebook is rigging the election for Joe Biden.”