Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted Wednesday afternoon to a Senate hearing that they had no evidence that reports about Hunter Biden’s emails were “Russian disinformation,” as claimed by Democrats.
The two tech leaders appeared remotely at the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, along with Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
The New York Post reported two weeks ago that former Vice President Joe Biden had met with Hunter Biden’s colleague from the Ukrainian oil company, Burisma.
However, Twitter and Facebook suppressed the story, and Twitter has locked the Post‘s Twitter account.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) questioned the two about their censorship of the story:
Sen. Johnson: For both Mr. Zuckerberg and Dorsey, who censored, censored the New York Post stories ,or throttled them back, do either one of you have any evidence that the New York Post story is part of “Russian disinformation,” or that those emails aren’t authentic? Do any of you have any information whatsoever they are not authentic or they are Russian disinformation? Mr. Dorsey.
Dorsey: We don’t.
Sen. Johnson: You don’t? So why would you censor it? Why did you prevent that from being disseminated on your platform that is supposed to be for the expression of ideas, and particularly true ideas.
Dorsey: We believed it fell afoul of our hacking materials policy. We judged —
Sen. Johnson: But what of them … was hacked? They weren’t hacked.
Dorsey: We judged in the moment that it looked like it was hacked materials —
Sen. Johnson: You were wrong.
Dorsey: — surfacing, and we updated our policy and our enforcement within 24 hours.
Sen. Johnson: Mr. Zuckerman — or Zuckerberg?
Zuckerberg: Senator, as I testified before, we relied heavily on the FBI’s intelligence and alerts us, both through their public testimony and private briefings and alerts they gave us.
Sen. Johnson: Did the FBI contact you and say the New York Post story was false?
Zuckerberg: Senator, not about that story specifically.
Sen. Johnson: So why did you throttle it back? Why did you throttle it back?
Zuckerberg: They alerted us to be on heightened alert around the risk of hack-and-leak operations. … To be clear on this, we didn’t censor the content. We flagged it for fact-checkers to review and pending that review, we temporarily constrained its distribution to make sure that it didn’t spread wildly while it was being reviewed. But it’s not up to us either to determine whether it’s Russian interference nor whether it’s true.
Joe Biden has claimed that the emails were the result of “Russian” intervention, though no one in the Biden family has denied that they are authentic. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) repeated that claim in the hearing.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.