Last Updated on October 17, 2020
Former United Kingdom Deputy Prime Minister and now-Facebook vice-president of global affairs and communications, Sir Nick Clegg, was found to have played a role in the social media giant’s cover-up scandal of Presidential Hopeful and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
Hunter Biden was embroiled in an international scandal after damning photos involving illegal acts of debauchery were allegedly leaked by a laptop repairman.
The New York Post‘s story also alleged that Hunter was receiving $50,000 a month payments from a Ukrainian businessman and that his father Joe pressured local prosecutor to drop charges on the businessman while he was U.S. Vice President.
On Wednesday, Facebook announced that they would have their third-party fact checkers vet the story before allowing full circulation, according to The Daily Mail. Although most decisions on content moderation are carried out by automated software or dedicated staff, the New York Post‘s article made it to the company’s higher-ups.
However, issues requiring more sensitivity or concerning political matters are to be escalated through Facebook’s chain of command, “Facebook’s vice-president of content policy, vice-president of global public policy and then Sir Nick look into the case as it passes up a chain,” The Daily Mail reported.
It is not known who had the final say in curtailing the distribution of the story that later became an international scandal, placing social media and Big Tech overreach under the microscope.
Conservatives and Trump supporters slammed the decision to throttle the Post’s story less than 3 weeks before the U.S. Presidential Elections.
Prominent voices including the accounts of Trump’s re-election campaign and the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany were both locked out from Twitter for posting a link to the controversial bombshell story.
The New York Post’s account — belonging to a major long-lasting paper — is still, at the time of writing, locked out of Twitter.
Last year, Sir Nick Clegg wrote an op-ed published in the New York Times arguing against the dismantling of the social media giant.
“Over the past two years we’ve focused heavily on blocking foreign adversaries from trying to influence democratic elections by using our platforms,” wrote Clegg for the New York Times, in a post arguing against using antitrust laws to break up big tech companies. “We’ve done the same to protect against terrorism and hate speech and to better safeguard people’s data.”
“Facebook shouldn’t be broken up — but it does need to be held to account,” he wrote. Anyone worried about the challenges we face in an online world should look at getting the rules of the internet right, not dismantling successful American companies.”
Social media and Big Tech have been accused of incrementalist measures to slowly remove content creators whose opinions go against the prevailing narratives.