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Facebook, Twitter accused of blocking controversial Biden post

Both social networks have limited online sharing of a compromising article about Joe Biden and his son to three weeks before the presidential election.

Donald Trump has joined criticism of Facebook and Twitter, which on Wednesday restricted the online sharing of a controversial New York Post article about Joe Biden, the Democratic White House candidate, to just three weeks before the presidential election.

"Awful that Twitter and Facebook removed the article on emails (...) relating to sleeping Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, from the New York Post," he said on Twitter. "This is just the beginning for them," he added, saying there was "nothing worse than a corrupt politician."

Because of pirated content

The Conservative newspaper published emails that were allegedly illegally retrieved from a computer containing messages, photos and personal videos of the son of former Barack Obama's vice president, Hunter Biden.

These messages revive accusations leveled against Joe Biden by Donald Trump's camp, according to whom he allegedly helped the Ukrainian gas group Burisma to escape corruption investigations. Hunter Biden served from 2014 to 2019 on the company's supervisory board. Joe Biden has always denied discussing his activities abroad with his son when he was in power.

"Unacceptable" for the boss of Twitter

One of Facebook's executives, Andy Stone, questioned the veracity of the emails and said the daily's information would be subject to verification. Pending its results, their visibility would be reduced on the platform, he said. Twitter also confirmed that it had blocked the daily's information from being broadcast because its content had been hacked.

Donald Trump later accused the Blue Bird social network of blocking the account of his spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany, for sharing the article. "Because she shared the truth! They closed her account," "They're trying to protect Biden," the US president proclaimed at a rally in Iowa.

"Our communication on our actions regarding the New York Post article was not great. And blocking link sharing via tweets and private messages without explanatory context on the reasons for this blocking: this is unacceptable ", tweeted the boss of the social network, Jack Dorsey.

"Propaganda machine"

In an op-ed, the newspaper, one of the most widely read dailies in the country, denounced Facebook's "censorship to help Joe Biden's campaign." "Censor first, ask questions after: this is an outrageous attitude for one of the most powerful platforms in the United States," the editorial continued, accusing Facebook of having become "a propaganda machine."

The New York Post claims to have obtained a copy of the hard drive of a laptop computer left for repair by Hunter Biden at a store in Delaware, home of Joe Biden, in April 2019. Without news of its owner, he would have returned the computer to the FBI a few months later, after making a copy of the hard drive that he allegedly passed on to Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The latter would then have provided it to the newspaper.

In particular, a message would prove, according to the daily, that he introduced his father to an official at Burisma. On April 17, 2015, Vadim Pozharskyi, a member of the management of the Burisma group, thanked Hunter Biden for an invitation to Washington "giving him the opportunity to meet your father and spend time together."

At the heart of Trump's impeachment trial

Mr Biden, who supported reforms in Ukraine, obtained in March 2016 the dismissal of Ukrainian Attorney General Viktor Chokine, who had opened anti-corruption investigations against Burisma. His departure was also requested by the European Union and the IMF, which denounced his poor results against corruption.

But for Donald Trump and his supporters, this sacking was meant to protect Hunter Biden. Burisma was at the center of the historic impeachment trial against Donald Trump, accused of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter's business activities. The US president was acquitted in February.

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