New York Post's Hunter Biden Hard Drive Leak

New York Post's Hunter Biden Hard Drive Leak

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Updated Dec 07, 2022 at 12:55PM EST by Philipp.

Added Oct 14, 2020 at 06:53PM EDT by Don.

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Overview

Hunter Biden Hard Drive Leak refers to a report published in the New York Post in mid-October 2020 regarding emails allegedly sent between Hunter Biden, son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and a Ukrainian businessman obtained from the hard drive of a computer. The article included photographs of Biden which were subsequently used in reaction images and photoshops on various online platforms. After links to the article were suppressed on Twitter and Facebook, many began speculating that the censorship resulted in a surge in interest of the story due to the Streisand Effect.

Background

On October 14th, 2020, the New York Post[1] published an article titled "Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad," which included an email from Vadym Pozharskyi, a board advisor for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, allegedly sent to Hunter Biden (shown below).


From: Vadym Pozharskyi <v.pozharskyi.ukraine@gmail.com> Subject: Meeting for coffee? Date: April 17, 2015 at 6:00:51 AM PDT To: Hunter Biden <hbiden@rosemontseneca.com> Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together. It's realty an honor and pleasure. As we spoke yesterday evening, would be great to meet today for a quick coffee. What do you think? I could come to you office somewhere around noon or so, before or on my way to airport. Best , V Отправлено с iPhone

Additionally, the article included several photographs of Biden allegedly sourced from the hard drive, including pictures of Biden shirtless, smoking cigarettes and sleeping with a glass pipe hanging from his mouth (shown below).



The report claimed that the hard drive was obtained by a computer repair shop owner, who copied the contents of the computer before handing it over to authorities. The files were later sent to Robert Costello, the lawyer for former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Developments

Twitter and Facebook Suppression

That day, journalist Yashar Ali tweeted that Twitter was blocking users from posting a link to the NY Post story in both tweets and direct messages (shown below).



Meanwhile, the @TrumpWarRoom Twitter feed tweeted a screenshot of a Twitter notification that White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany had been locked out of her account for posting a tweet about Biden story, claiming she had violated "rules against distribution of hacked material" (shown below). That evening, McEnany appeared on Fox News[2] to discuss her account lock.


6:37 ull Options Your account has been locked. Kayleigh McEnany @kayleighmcenany What happened? We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically, for: 1. Violating our rules against distribution of hacked material. We don't 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. Kayleigh McEnany @kayleighmcenany **NEW** Email from Ukrainian executive to Hunter Biden asks Hunter to "use his influence" on behalf of the firm paying him $50K/mo in email with subject "urgent issue" obtained by @nypost Father @JoeBiden was in charge of Ukraine relations at time. !! https://t.co/CCPMohpCGF 12:33 PM - 14 Oct 2020 As a result, we have locked your account. What you can do: To unlock your account, you must do the following:

That day, NPR[3] published an article titled "Facebook And Twitter Limit Sharing 'New York Post' Story About Joe Biden," which reported that both representatives from the social media companies "said the moves were aimed at slowing the spread of potentially false information."

Twitter Response

That evening, the official @TwitterSafety feed published a series of tweets explaining the company's reasoning for suppressing the NY Post story, claiming it violated a policy that "prohibits the use of our service to distribute content obtained without authorization" (shown below).



Shortly after, Twitter[4] CEO Jack Dorsey posted a tweet stating that the company's "communication" regarding the suppression of the article was "not great," and that their move to block the URL from tweets and direct messages without providing an explanation was "unacceptable" (shown below).


jack @jack 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. Twitter Safety O @TwitterSafety - 13h 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. Show this thread 7:55 PM Oct 14, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone >

The Twitter Files

The Twitter Files refers to a series of internal emails shedding light on the Twitter suppression of the 2020 Hunter Biden Hard Drive Leak story which were released by journalist Matt Taibbi in December 2022. The documents revealed the process of how the suppression was installed, and pointed at possible drivers behind the decision. The leak prompted viral discussions of freedom of speech on social media.


Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi Dec 2 9. Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party: Oct 25, 2020 at 9:58 AM the first one under SI... defer to Safety on the high profile second or Oct 24, 2020 at 6:54 PM onal report from DNC. witter.com/stephen_liuhuan/status/1320153232006676484 witter.com/RealJamesWoods/status/1320171179504644098 :le 3,716 22 Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi Dec 2 10. Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored. However: 3,163 18 24.9K $185.267 20 $968.749 Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi Dec 2 11. This system wasn't balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right. opensecrets.org/orgs/twitter/s... ntributions by Party of Recipient O Total Democrats 0 14.9K $309.394 $165.969 $909.431 % to Dems 99.73% 111.7K 98.47% $295.722 96.38% Otwitter.com> wrot 84.7K twitter.com Republicans $451 $14.137 $11,100 % to Repubs 0.27% 1.53% 3.62%

Computer Repair Shop Owner Interview

Also on October 14th, The Daily Beast[7] published an interview with John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repair shop owner who allegedly obtained the hard drive. In the interview, Isaac claimed he was unable to see who dropped the laptop off at his store but had speculated the owner was Hunter Biden due to a sticker placed on the outside of the machine.

Mac Isaac said he had a medical condition that prevented him from actually seeing who dropped off the laptop but that he believed it to be Hunter Biden’s because of a sticker related to the Beau Biden Foundation that was on it. He said that Hunter Biden actually dropped off three laptops for repair, an abundance of hardware that he chalked up to the Biden son being “rich.”

The Daily Beast stated that Isaac "appeared nervous" during the interview, saying he was "scared for his life" due to a conspiracy theory about deceased DNC staffer Seth Rich.

Online Reactions

That day, Twitter user @helen[5] tweeted a selfie of Biden smoking a cigarette with the message "what I see in the loading screen when I power on my Nintendo Switch" (shown below, left). Within 24 hours, the tweets gathered upwards of 21,000 likes and 1,400 retweets. Meanwhile, TheDonald.win[6] user asdrubael_was_right submitted a photoshopped picture of Hunter Biden wearing a jean jacket with his father superimposed behind him and Kamala Harris superimposed below him (shown below, right).


helen @helen what i see in the loading screen when i power on my nintendo switch 1:43 PM · Oct 14, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone

Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments

Paradoxed
Paradoxed

in reply to Sunsoft Bass

Yes and no. They are gaming the system to both gain the protections of a provider while also using the censoring privelages of a platform.There has been an ongoing discussion on forcing companies like this to legally choose a side, and this is yet another example of why something like that is needed.

+56

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