(ReliableNews.org) – On October 14, the New York Post published a bombshell story about Hunter Biden. Social media platforms quickly moved to squash the story. A recent leak at Facebook shows what happened when the decision was made at the social media site.
According to an October 30 report by The Guardian, Facebook’s suppression of the Hunter Biden story was not automated. Moderators working for the company had to manually limit the reach of the New York Post article.
Documents revealing the social media platform’s moderation policies show the Post was given special attention because of its status as a major media site. Facebook automatically flags some content depending on a number of factors. When that doesn’t happen, the content can be physically added by third-party fact-checkers though. When that happens, the content is suppressed for a week.
Not Standard Practice
Andy Stone, an executive at Facebook, said it was “standard practice” to reduce the article’s reach. The moderation policies say that sites that are among the most popular 5,000 sites online are not supposed to have the distribution of their content limited.
The New York Post is one of the largest newspapers in the country. It should not have had its content suppressed per Facebook’s moderation rules. So, what happened?
Republicans have repeatedly accused Facebook and Twitter of meddling in the 2020 election. They believe the social media giants are suppressing information that might hurt Joe Biden in an attempt to help the Democratic Party win the election.
Conservatives have even pointed to Stone, himself, as proof of that. The Facebook communications director spent years working for the Democratic Party. If the Guardian report is correct, then he was not completely honest when he said the decision to limit the distribution of the Biden story was not standard. In fact, it was abnormal. And nobody can seem to explain the rationale.
Copyright 2020, ReliableNews.org