Posted by Curt on 16 October, 2022 at 9:21 am. 1 comment.


By Jim Hanson

Near the end of the 2020 presidential campaign there was an October Surprise. A shocking and provocative story that could potentially alter the outcome. That was, of course, Hunter Biden’s laptop.
This report shows the full extent of a successful censorship and disinformation campaign by the Left that directly influenced the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
In the final months of the 2020 race an amazing revelation of corruption and actual crimes by Hunter and Joe Biden came to light. The New York Post ran an exposé of emails from a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden at a repair shop. They showed evidence the Bidens were involved in taking money from foreign entities and providing access to the U.S. government.
At a minimum, these are likely felony violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and perhaps also the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Joe Biden was the Democratic candidate and the entire country was about to decide whether he was suitable to serve as president. This story was highly relevant for citizens trying to make an informed voting decision. Voters were denied the opportunity to see and evaluate this information. Worse yet, they were subjected to a calculated disinformation campaign designed to discredit it.
This project has identified the conspirators, their strategy, their actions, and the chilling effect they had on our representative democracy. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. It is a perfect example of the tilted playing field for ideas the Left has created. Our goal is to shine so bright a light on their actions they will not be able to do this again.
The Usual Suspects
This operation was run by the same people who control information flow to the vast majority of the American people.
The conspirators were:

  • Corporate Media
  • Tech Tyrants
  • The deep state
  • The political Left

These groups wanted to save a weak candidate from the probable defeat to which the evidence contained on that laptop would lead. They had zero regard for the truth, ethics, or the law. They were going to stop Trump by any means necessary, and they did.
Uncle Joe was supposed to be the antidote for Trumpism, the smiling storyteller who wouldn’t cause any trouble. But that carefully crafted fiction would crumble if his involvement in selling out his country to enrich his own family was exposed.
That meant the story had to be covered up, and the Left jumped into action to do so in the fashion Dave Burge noted on Twitter.

And smother it they did.
We must change the overwhelmingly biased information landscape in this country. One side of the political spectrum controls the narrative so completely they successfully censored a story and ran a disinformation campaign of immense magnitude. The first step in changing that information landscape is exposing the organizations, networks, actors and funders who operate it.
The Censorship and Disinformation Campaign
Their strategy had two major components:

  • Censorship—Blocking the distribution of this story so voters could not see it
  • Disinformation—False or misleading narratives to discredit the information

There was an unprecedented operation in October of 2020 to censor the story of Biden family corruption revealed in the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. It was a potential death blow to Biden’s already creaky campaign and the combined organs of the Left could not afford to let it see the light of day.
Censorship in America is supposed to be forbidden. The First Amendment means politicians are not permitted to use state power to silence political opponents. That protection has been tested in recent years, as the Left has attempted to brand conservatism as extremism, fascism, and even terrorism. But in this case Biden and his allies could not use the government directly to shut the story down.
Fortunately for them, the bulk of America’s information space is dominated by their allies who are happy to act as co-conspirators. Corporate media, social media, popular culture, academia, and most governmental entities are all solidly on the Left. They all saw the danger posed to them if the public learned how Joe and Hunter had traveled the world selling access to the U.S. levers of power. Hunter took the cash and Joe took the meetings with his foreign clients.
The New York Post is America’s oldest newspaper and when they broke the story of this influence-peddling it was a blockbuster. But the crisis response groupthink of the corporate media kicked in immediately to minimize the damage.
They claimed it had already been “debunked” or that it had been hacked or stolen or was “unverified.” They threw every smear they had at the wall, just hoping something would stick. Nothing they said about the story was based on facts or evidence; It was just a flurry of attempts to bury it before it buried Joe Biden.
The major media outlets wanted to hide or ignore the story, but that wasn’t really possible. The Post was their hated enemy as one of a tiny number of right-of-center outlets, but it was too big to just ignore. And they didn’t have the power to stop the Post from distributing its story.
But social media operates in a completely different fashion and they not only could shut it down— they actually made it disappear.

As you see in the headline above, they tried to play this off as “making sure our elections are secure.” But they had no evidence at all of any foreign involvement or any other threat beyond the danger of American voters learning about Biden corruption. It was a credible story produced by a major U.S. newspaper about information they received from known American sources. Taking these “unusual steps” was partisan bias not “election preparedness.”
Tech Tyrants 
Censorship is an ugly thing, especially when it is done to influence the outcome of a presidential election. The tech companies that own and operate our shared information space collectively and individually hated President Trump.
They are led and staffed by an overwhelmingly activist workforce. They are the shock troops in the woke revolution and see themselves as tasked with bringing about the “fundamental transformation” Barack Obama talked about.
Twitter brags about its role on their website:

Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right—but freedom to have that speech amplified by Twitter is not. Our rules exist to promote healthy conversations.

It is fair to note Twitter is not the government and is free to censor speech if it wishes to do so. But when they control the most influential platform for influencing ideas in the world, they can be held to account if they abuse that. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted this is a problem.

We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is . . . is more left-leaning.

They have failed miserably in keeping their bias at bay. It infects every aspect of their business model even if it is not written into their policies. Their woke workforce interprets the policies in ways that greatly advantage Democratic politicians and liberal ideas. They simultaneously punish and throttle conservative ones.
This was on full display when the Post article came out and Twitter shut down the Post’s Twitter account, as well as the ability for anyone to share the article.

In line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Post in a statement.

Their reasons were unconvincing and illogical:

Twitter is still demanding The Post delete six posts linking to our reporting (tweets that don’t violate their rules!) before restoring our account

Twitter users who attempted to retweet the Post article received an error message and eventually were informed that the article had been identified as “potentially harmful.”
Ironically, they were right for the wrong reason. It was “potentially harmful”. . .  not because it was a foreign influence operation, but because it could be deadly to the presidential ambitions of Joe Biden.
Facebook chose a different, but no less improper and biased form of censorship. Their spokesperson Andy Stone, a long time Democratic operative, announced their rationale.

Facebook did not require fact-checking or limit distribution on thousands of stories claiming President Trump colluded with Russia.

Trump-Russia smear stories were a mainstay of Facebook’s curated news content throughout the entire Trump Administration and the 2020 campaign. This was a direct reaction to the unwanted success conservative media had on the platform.
Facebook’s leadership and staff were just as reliably doctrinaire leftists as were Twitter’s. They believed their mission was to bring the world into the woke paradise we all need. But something was going wrong. People kept engaging with conservative content at alarming rates. They had identified this as a problem after Trump’s win in the 2016 election. They couldn’t understand it, but they knew they needed to stop it.

Facebook’s problem was their platform actually worked the way they built it. It allowed people to see content they were likely to enjoy and then engage with. The unintended consequence for the activists at Facebook was that people really liked conservative content.
For one thing, they couldn’t get it elsewhere. When Facebook let them find and share it, they did . . . a lot.
Unlike Twitter, which had actively gamed algorithms and rule enforcement to squash conservatives, Facebook had a basically democratic platform. Popular content ruled and sadly for the Left that meant conservatives had a voice. After the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments phase over the result of the 2016 election had passed, the true believers at Facebook set out to ensure it would never happen again. This actually led to a precursor disinformation campaign related to the ones we are discussing here, which began the use of the chosen narrative, Russian disinformation.
After the 2016 election the existence of a small number of ads on Facebook tied to overseas troll farms was discovered. This became a cause célèbre in the effort to discredit the evil Trump’s victory over the chosen Hillary.

It was not possible for them to fathom Americans could have chosen a vulgarian right-winger in a fair contest, so they needed an external enemy. Russian propaganda was a perfect target. In other words, they employed a technique common to both propaganda and advertising called “An Appeal to Fear.” In this case it is the fear of an external enemy which is a necessary component for those who want to increase the power of government.

Over the ages, governments refined their appeals to popular fears, fostering an ideology that emphasizes the people’s vulnerability to a variety of internal and external dangers from which the governors—of all people! — are said to be their protectors. Government, it is claimed, protects the populace from external attackers and from internal disorder, both of which are portrayed as ever-present threats.

The American Left was looking at Hillary to finish the fundamental transformation begun under Obama and bring benevolent statism to America. It was not possible that both she and the quasi-socialism she represented could have been spurned. No! It was those damn Russians. And thus Russian disinformation became the external threat that had unduly empowered the troglodytes of the Right.
The truth was Russian-linked entities had spent around $150,000 on Facebook ads during the campaign. This was during a campaign into which both candidates were putting close to $1 billion.

That is not to say Russian propaganda was never a real problem. It was a major problem during the Soviet era and it had grown and evolved in the modern age.
The Rand Corporation’s study on Russian propaganda, Firehose of Falsehood, reveals:

Russia has taken advantage of technology and available media in ways that would have been inconceivable during the Cold War. Its tools and channels now include the Internet, social media, and the evolving landscape of professional and amateur journalism and media outlets.

Even though it was nowhere near the threat they hyped it to be, the Left had found their demon. They would use this as the rationale for a censorship campaign to limit the spread and effectiveness of all messages deemed damaging to the cause. This enabled them to attack their political opponents but to wrap it in the patriotic propaganda of “election integrity.”
Starting in 2017 Facebook made a massive push to publicize their newfound zeal to stop anyone from influencing U.S. Elections.

As it turned out, Facebook had its own election meddling plan: stop anyone from influencing elections, except fellow leftists. What they touted as the answer to Russian interference soon morphed into a chance to build and deploy a thought police to shut down ideas they disliked. They had the aircover of election integrity so who could argue with that?
In the intervening time between presidential elections they began to systematically push back not just on foreign influence efforts, but on conservative content they deemed misinformation. This allowed them to limit, or eliminate, the ability for all of those people who had been choosing to engage with conservative content to do so.
The Biden team still wanted more actual election and information interference from Facebook. Campaign Digital Director Rob Flaherty attacked them for suggesting that an even playing field was the right answer.

Everyone works the refs, but the shocking thing here is the appeal to reasonableness. As if it was unchallenged that the Left was fundamentally honest and the Right fundamentally fallacious. Many at Facebook shared that view and their bias became policy.
The collection of bad actors we are discussing here worked together to tilt the playing field in the information space on a daily basis. Any information you get without purposely going directly to a known conservative outlet is filtered through their leftist lens. This control is pervasive and does tremendous damage to having an informed electorate.
All of this culminated in a well-oiled machine ready for action when the damaging information on Hunter’s laptop came to light. They had a plan, they had chosen enemies to blame and they were not about to let the Right use their platforms to tell any truths.
Excuses about the information being hacked or stolen were simply invented to obscure the facts. The tech tyrants did not want the public to know how corrupt Joe Biden was so they served as surrogates for the Biden campaign. Their censorship operations were successful and denied a large number of people the opportunity to judge for themselves.
We can’t know for sure what the impact of this story would have been had it been propagated freely. But it would have been very damaging to a candidate packaged and marketed as kinder, gentler, and more honest than Trump. Now that more is known about the story, recent polling shows people consider that it would have been a highly influential story.

Nearly two-thirds of voters say the story of Hunter Biden’s lost laptop is important and believe President Joe Biden was probably involved in his son’s foreign business deals.

Would that have changed the outcome? Sadly, we’ll never know. But we can make sure it never happens again.

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