Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story backfires, nearly doubles the article’s shares

by Peter Heck · Oct 21st, 2020 10:27 am

Last Updated Oct 21st, 2020 at 8:32 pm

According to metrics tabulated by Zignal Labs, the effort of social media platform Twitter to stop the spread of the New York Post's blockbuster story on Hunter Biden's laptop backfired tremendously.

Twitter deemed the story factually inaccurate despite having no concrete evidence to suggest that it was, suspended the Post's social media account, took the unprecedented step to prevent the link to the story from being shared by any user, and then refused to reactivate the Post's account without deletion of the story.

Yet despite those herculean efforts to suppress the Hunter Biden story, Twitter only managed to raise the report's profile. Zignal Labs found that Twitter's censorship increased the share count on the Post's story from 5,500 shares per quarter-hour to 10,000.

"The poorly-thought-through ban triggered the so-called Streisand Effect and helped turn a sketchy article into a must-share blockbuster," said Abby Ohlheiser of MIT Technology Review.

In just a five-day span, the story was shared more than 352,000 times, an exponentially larger amount than would have occurred without Twitter's attempt to silence it.


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