Facebook will temporarily reduce distribution of the New York Post‘s Wednesday story on Hunter Biden while fact-checkers review the piece, a spokesperson for the social media giant announced.
An adviser from Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings thanked Hunter Biden for giving him the “opportunity” to meet Joe Biden in 2015, when the vice president headed the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, according to an email revealed by the Post. Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma from 2014 to 2019.
The email was allegedly sent by the adviser, Vadym Pozharskiy, to Hunter Biden and was part of a trove of documents given to the Post by President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The story drew skepticism from various journalists, with Kyle Griffin of MSNBC calling on reporters not to “link to or share” the Post‘s story.
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. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020
“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,” Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, wrote on Twitter. “In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”
In response to Stone’s remarks, Senator Josh Hawley accused Facebook of “actively censoring a news report about potentially illegal corruption by the Democrat candidate for president.”
“Expect a formal inquiry from my office,” Hawley wrote on his Twitter account.
Later on Wednesday, a Biden campaign spokesman told Politico, “we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” The spokesman did not deny the veracity of the emails and other documents obtained by the Post.
The report on the documents provided by Giuliani has not yet been independently confirmed. However, the email from Pozharskiy would appear to contradict the former vice president’s assertion that he has not spoken with his son about foreign business dealings.
President Trump has attempted to increase scrutiny on Hunter Biden ahead of the November elections. A Senate Intelligence Committee report released in September found that Biden pursued business dealings with a number of politically-connected foreign nationals while his father was in office. In particular, the report highlighted Hunter Biden’s financial transactions with Chinese businessman Ye Jianming, who connected the vice president’s son with officials in the Chinese Communist Party.
Editor’s Note 2 p.m.: This article has been updated with comments from the Biden campaign regarding the Post article.