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Republican National Committee files Federal Election Commission complaint over Twitter ban on Hunter Biden articles

  • October 17, 2020

On Thursday, in response to criticism over its ban, Twitter said it was making changes to its hacked material policy.

Twitter said it will no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them. The company also said that it will label tweets to provide context, as opposed to blocking links from being shared at all.

But the ban on the Hunter Biden articles remained intact until Friday, Twitter had said, noting that it would will still apply rules “to the posting of or linking to hacked materials, such as our rules against posting private information, synthetic and manipulated media, and non-consensual nudity.”

On Friday, Twitter dropped the ban.

However, The New York Post reported Friday evening that despite that move, “Twitter has refused to unlock The Post’s [Twitter] account unless the news organization deletes six tweets about its own reporting on Hunter Biden’s emails — despite a policy change sparked by outrage over that very same social-media suppression of the stories.”

The newspaper said that Twitter representative told The Post, “While we’ve updated the policy, we don’t change enforcement retroactively. You will still need to delete the Tweets to regain access to your account.”

A check of The Post’s Twitter account on Friday night showed that the last tweet or retweet from it came on Wednesday.

The Post has reported that the emails from the computer hard drive believed to be owned by Hunter Biden show that Hunter facilitated a meeting between Joe Biden and Vadym Pozharsky, an advisor to the board of Burisma, the Ukraine gas company on whose board Hunter Biden sat.

The purported meeting, which the Biden campaign and Hunter Biden’s lawyer have denied occurred, supposedly took place less than a year before the then-vice president pressured the Ukraine government to oust a prosecutor.

That prosecutor has since claimed he was investigating Burisma at the time of his ouster.

But Biden’s campaign has noted that Biden’s pressure on the Ukrainian government was done because the American government believed the prosecutor was not doing enough to investigate corruption.

NBC News reported Thursday night that federal investigators are probing whether the emails cited by The Post are linked to a foreign intelligence operation. The hard drive was originally left at a Delaware computer repair shop.

According to the FEC’s web site, the commission “has held a long and diverse list of goods and services (both tangible and intangible, both easy and difficult to value) to qualify as contributions” to a political campaign.

However, none of the services given as examples of such contributions on the site involves a social media platform decision to enforce its own rules.

“The Commission has, consistent with judicial rulings, interpreted ‘anything of value’ broadly under [election law],” the site says.

“The Commission has found that even where the value of a good or service ‘may be nominal or difficult to ascertain,’ such good or service is nevertheless a ‘thing of value’ under the” law, the site notes.

– Additional reporting by Christina Wilkie and Salvador Rodriguez

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