The Federal Election Commission has dismissed Republican accusations that Twitter violated election law in October. Precedents for future events, including social media sites and federal campaigns.
According to a document outlining the decision obtained by the New York Times, FEC found Twitter’s actions on Hunter Biden’s article acceptable because it was done for legitimate commercial reasons, not for political purposes. Did.
The Commission’s decision, which took place in a closed room last month and will be released soon, gives social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat more flexibility to control what is shared on the platform regarding federal elections. Offers.
The suppression of articles about Hunter Biden caused an avalanche of conservative criticism in October, accusing tech companies of improperly supporting the Biden presidential campaign. -Kind contribution to the campaign “.
However, FEC did not agree. According to the “facts and legal analysis” provided to the parties involved in the complaint, the Commission said it was a commercial decision for Twitter to block the distribution of articles, and the move was an existing one related to the hacked material. He said he “certainly explained” that he was following the policy.
Twitter actually reversed the course within a day of the decision to block the distribution of Hunter Biden’s articles, and its CEO Jack Dorsey called the first move a “mistake.” increase.
The official FEC vote on the case (the Commission is evenly divided among the three Democrats and the three Republicans) has not yet been released, and there is no additional statement by the Commission. Such statements often accompany the termination of the case and can provide further insight into the Commission’s reasoning.
In addition to dismissing RNC’s complaints, the FEC also violated election law by Twitter “shadow banning” Republican users and restricting the display of posts without providing explanations. I dismissed the complaint. Suppress other anti-Biden content. A warning about its accuracy will be displayed in the tweet of former President Donald J. Trump. The FEC rejected these accusations, writing that it was “ambiguous, speculative, and not supported by available information.”
Republicans, led by Mr. Trump, are increasingly in conflict with the largest tech and social media companies in the United States, accusing Silicon Valley giants of giving Democrats an edge on their platforms.
Twitter initially stated that it blocked links to Hunter Biden articles due to an existing policy prohibiting the distribution of hacked material. This article was based on material provided by the Trump ally, who had been asking Elder Biden for months to hurt his son, and focused on Biden’s involvement in Ukraine.
But Twitter CEO Dorsey said Admitted In October, blocking “no reason” links was “unacceptable”.
Shortly thereafter, Twitter announced that it would change its policy on hacked material to allow posting of similar content, such as labels that provide context about the source of information.
FEC documents reveal one of the reasons Twitter was particularly suspicious of Hunter Biden’s article. According to the FEC, the company’s site integrity officer said Twitter could hack and publish material related to political campaigns from federal law enforcement agencies throughout 2020 by “malicious state officials.” Yes, I received an official warning that Hunter Biden could be targeted. ” Such an operation. “
The FEC said the decision with the Biden campaign “has no information coordinated by Twitter.” According to a FEC document, Twitter’s U.S. public policy officer said in a statement of oath that he was unaware of contact with the Biden team before the company made the decision.
Twitter did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
Emma Vaughn, a spokeswoman for RNC, said the commission was “considering options for appealing this disappointing decision from FEC.”