Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019.
Erin Scott | Reuters
Facebook said Wednesday it decided to limit the distribution of a New York Post story that claims to show “smoking gun” emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son.
“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners,” tweeted Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook. “In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”
The editorial decision to reduce the spread of the story is a significant one for Facebook. The social media company has long professed to stand for freedom of speech and rejected the idea that it be an arbiter of truth.
But the company has pulled a 180 recently, banning numerous types of problematic content on its services, including anti-vaccination ads, Holocaust denial, and pages and groups espousing the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Twitter blocked the story on Wednesday. Due to the lack of authoritative reporting around the origins of the information in the New York Post’s news story, Twitter took actions to limit the spread of the article, a spokeswoman for the company said.
Specifically, the article was found in violation of Twitter’s Hacked Material Policy, which doesn’t not “permit the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets.”