MIT Tech Review: Tech Censorship Nearly Doubled Attention for NY Post Biden Bombshell

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, Chairman of Twitter and a founder of both ,holds an event in L

The attempt by the social media Masters of the Universe to stop the spread of the New York Post bombshell article about Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s alleged dealings with Burisma, has nearly doubled the level of attention the story gained.

What is known as the “Streisand Effect” — a social phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to censor information has the unintended consequence of further publicizing it instead — went into overdrive after social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter attempted to suppress a NY Post article about Hunter Biden, according to data published in the MIT Technology Review.

Social media companies reduced the distribution of a New York Post story containing bombshell information indicating that — contrary to his previous denials— Joe Biden allegedly did meet with an adviser to the board of Burisma while he was vice president, arranged by his son Hunter, who was then working as a lobbyist for the company.

Data provided by the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs shows that shares of the bombshell NY Post article have actually “nearly doubled” following Twitter’s attempt at suppressing the story.

“Twitter managed to do the opposite of what it intended,” the report added, noting that the social media company’s CEO Jack Dorsey ended up conceding to the notion that blocking the NY Post link was “wrong,” and that Twitter has changed its policies following the incident.

Twitter had blocked shares of the story, citing its policy against “hacked materials” and the distribution of “content obtained without authorization.”

Taking it a step further, Twitter had even branded links to the website of the House Committee on the Judiciary as “potentially unsafe” after Republicans on the Committee posted material from the NY Post’s Biden-Ukraine story to the website. The social media company later said that it blocked the government site “in error” and would reverse the blacklisting.

According to Zignal Labs, data shows a surge of shares immediately after Twitter implemented the block, jumping from around 5.5 thousand shares every 15 minutes, to about 10 thousand.

“The New York Post story, which was blocked on Twitter for about a day, was shared 352,200 times on the platform,” reports MIT Technology Review.

Meanwhile, Facebook, conducted its suppression in a different manner — the company did not block users from linking directly to the story, but announced that it was treating it as questionable content and would limit its reach until “fact checkers” could review it — had the story shared 324,000 times, not including users inside private groups.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.


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