In Wednesday’s Senate hearing on Big Tech and Section 230, both Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that neither had any evidence that the New York Post’s reporting on Joe Biden’s knowledge of his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals is Russian disinformation.
“For both Mr. Zuckerberg and Dorsey who censored the New York Post stories or throttle them back, do you have any evidence that the New York Post story is part of Russian disinformation or that those emails are not authentic?” Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin asked. “Do you have any information whatsoever they are not authentic or they are Russian disinformation?
Dorsey and Zuckerberg both denied receiving any indication that the story was part of a Russian misinformation campaign.
Within days of the story’s censorship, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe explicitly debunked the disinformation claims made by Rep. Adam Schiff, when he reported the intelligence community has no evidence that the bombshell story was a foreign attempt to spread misinformation and interfere in the U.S. election.
“Let me be clear,” he said on Fox News, “The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that.”
“We have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff, or any other member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” Ratcliffe clarified. “It’s simply not true.”
“So why would you censor it?” Johnson asked. “Why would you prevent that from being disseminated on your platform that is supposed to be for the free expression of ideas and particularly true ideas.”
Dorsey echoed his previous claims that the article violated Twitter policy, despite being slammed by Sen. Ted Cruz earlier in the hearing over the same matter.
“We judged it by our hacking policy,” Dorsey replied. “It looked like it was hacked material. And we updated our policy and our enforcement within 24 hours. “
“They weren’t hacked. Mr. Dorsey,” Johnson replied. “You are wrong.”
Zuckerberg also attempted to defend Facebook’s censorship of the Hunter Biden bombshell story, claiming that Facebook “relied heavily on the FBI’s intelligence to alert us and through their public testimony and private.”
“Did the FBI contact you and say the New York Post story was false?” Johnson asked.
“Not about that story specifically,” Zuckerberg replied.
When Johnson asked why Facebook chose to move forward in limiting the article’s distribution, Zuckerberg claimed that it was because of “heightened alert” surrounding election interference by the Russians that they began to prevent the article from being widely shared.
“They alerted us to be on heightened alert around the risk of a hack and leak operation,” Zuckerberg said. “To be clear on this, we didn’t censor the content. We flagged it for fact-checkers to review and pending that review, we temporarily constrained the distribution to make sure it didn’t spread wildly while it was being reviewed.”