Welcome to reality, Washington Post. It finally occurred to the liberal newspaper on Monday that perhaps — just perhaps — there’s a “danger” to “suppressing” stories like the Hunter Biden laptop controversy on social media outlets. The paper can’t say definitively, but the editorial at least shows the idea is being considered amongst the outlet’s writers.
Last week, The Washington Post discovered the bombshell confirmation of the Hunter story, publishing two stories confirming it’s legitimacy. And now, in an editorial with the sub-headline “The lessons of Hunter Biden’s laptop,” the paper stated what millions of Americans already knew:
Here's more of the editorial:
Twitter blocked the story altogether, pointing to a policy against hacked materials, and suspended the New York Post’s account for sharing it. Facebook downranked the story in the algorithms that govern users’ news feeds for fear that it was based on misinformation....The lesson learned from 2020 may well be that there’s also a danger of suppressing accurate and relevant stories.
Well, you don’t say? Perhaps censoring a story just because liberal tech sites don’t like it is a mistake?
The editorial confirmed, “Now, The Washington Post and the New York Times have vouched for many of the [laptop's] relevant communications.”
But don’t worry. The Post editorial mostly exonerates itself and other news outlets for initially ignoring the story:
This series of events has prompted allegations of a coverup, or at best a double standard in the treatment of conservative and liberal politicians by mainstream media and social media sites. Yet there was reason in this case for reluctance on the part of the publications and the platforms alike. Both had been the unwitting tools of a Russian influence campaign in 2016, and it was only prudent to suspect a similar plot lay behind the mysterious appearance of a computer stuffed with juicy documents and conveniently handed over to President Donald Trump’s toxic personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
This context doesn’t necessarily exonerate every action of every publication and platform. It makes obvious sense for newspapers to wait to verify information before turning it into a story
It’s only social media sites like Twitter and Facebook that the Post is slightly more conflicted on:
Social media sites face a tougher choice when it comes to whether and how to dampen the spread of a story when they’re unsure of its truthfulness or origins. None of these dilemmas have easy answers.
On Sunday, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said of the mainstream media on Hunter’s laptop: “They were dead wrong.” And outlets like The Washington Post are belatedly trying to catch up. At least it has finally occurred to the Post that the 2020 censoring by Twitter and Facebook was a bad idea. It may be small progress, but at least it’s something.