Jack Dorsey apologizes as Trump slams Twitter for killing story on Joe, Hunter Biden and blocking Kayleigh McEnany

The episode snowballed into a massive controversy after Twitter locked the account of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany who shared the New York Post article


                            Jack Dorsey apologizes as Trump slams Twitter for killing story on Joe, Hunter Biden and blocking Kayleigh McEnany
Jack Dorsey, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden (Getty Images)

Social media giant Twitter has found itself at odds with President Donald Trump a number of times in recent times over the latter’s controversial posts that it has flagged. Although the president uses the medium more than not, even to convey his policies, he has also accused it of meddling in the upcoming presidential election after it raised an alert over his claim that mail-in ballot will lead to widespread electoral malpractice.

On Wednesday, October 14, America witnessed another such occasion when Twitter found itself in the middle of a political crossfire and this time, the microblogging site apologized. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey issued the apology after the platform faced a backlash over its move to block links to a story that claimed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met with a Ukrainian businessman during his vice presidential stint (2009-17). 

It all started earlier on Wednesday when Twitter started locking accounts of users who were sharing the link to an explosive article in New York Post titled ‘Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad’. The social media giant explained that the reason for blocking the accounts was “distribution of hacked material”. The controversy took a really big shape when Twitter locked the account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany who also shared the piece.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (Getty Images)

 

Twitter’s action naturally left President Donald Trump furious. He slammed social media giants like Facebook and Twitter for “taking negative posts down” about the NY Post report that talked about an email that purportedly showed Biden’s son Hunter introducing a Ukrainian energy executive to his father. The Ukrainian issue exploded last year after Trump allegedly asked his Ukraininan counterpart in a phone call in July last year to look into Biden and his son -- an issue that led to the Democratic-controlled House impeaching the president but the GOP-dominated Senate acquitting him.

'They are trying to protect Biden'

But Trump has not given up attacking the Bidens over the former vice president’s alleged abuse of his vice presidential power to protect his son’s business interests in Ukraine and while the Biden campaign challenged the NY Post report saying no meeting as alleged by it took place, the president was furious with the social media platforms.
At a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, Trump said: “They’re trying to protect him. They’re trying to protect Biden.” 

In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, addresses the virtual convention on August 20, 2020. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)

 

“We’ve just learned through explosive documents published by a very fine newspaper, the New York Post, that Joe Biden has been blatantly lying about his involvement in his son’s corrupt business dealings… Now we can see clearly that Biden is a corrupt politician who shouldn’t even be allowed to run for the presidency,” the president, who has found himself trailing Biden in several key states ahead of the November 3 election, said. 

Facebook also said it would reduce the article’s distribution, planning to slow the pace of its circulation before the social network’s fact-checkers get to evaluate its authenticity.
Earlier this month, both Twitter and Facebook faced Trump’s ire after they either flagged or removed one of his tweets claiming the flu is far more lethal than coronavirus -- something that hit him too. The mercurial president hit back at the social media giants seeking revocation of Section 230. 

 



 

 

Trump calls for releaing Section 230 again

On Wednesday, he reiterated the same, saying in a tweet that he posted linking a CNBC article on the social media platforms’ decision to limit the spread of the NY Post article: “So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of “Smoking Gun” emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost. It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!!”

 



 

 

He also praised NY Post for its report in another tweet and attacked Biden as “disgraceful”. He said: “Congratulations to the @nypost for having exposed the massive corruption surrounding Sleepy Joe Biden and our Country. He’s always been a corrupt politician. Disgraceful!”

 



 



Also during his rally in Iowa, Trump said: “Joe Biden must immediately release all emails, meetings, phone calls, transcripts, and records related to his involvement in his family’s business dealings and influence peddling around the world—including in CHINA!”

 



 

 

Dorsey tweeted on Wednesday saying his company’s communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. In his post, he said: “Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”

 



 

 

In his apology, Dorsey linked to a statement from Twitter that said it was putting a restriction on the link because “personal and private information” was shared in the story, pulling back from its earlier claims of inaccuracy. In one of the many tweets that Twitter posted to clarify its position, it said: "We want to provide much needed clarity around the actions we’ve taken with respect to two NY Post articles that were first Tweeted this morning."

 



 

 

Trump, however, was not convinced with the apology and tweeted another fiery post saying someone must “pay a price” for the “fake & fraudulent stories”. “I’ve gone through years of a Fake, Illegal, and Totally Discredited Witch-Hunt, and now it’s revealed that it was a Hoax by the “other side”, which must pay a price for what they did. Think of where we’d be now without Fake & Fraudulent stories every night, for years!!!” he said.