It all started with a laptop. According to computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, someone dropped off a laptop with his shop in April 2019 (it’s not clear whether it was Hunter Biden or an associate) and he went on to find troubling emails on the machine. No one ever picked it up, and Isaac ultimately turned the computer over to federal investigators. From there – and it’s not entirely clear how – the New York Post got their hands on some of the laptop’s more disturbing contents and ran a story outlining some of the documents and emails. Among other implications, the emails seemed to prove that Joe Biden was not being honest when he said he had absolutely nothing to do with his son’s business dealings overseas.
This we know.
We also know that much of the Post’s story was later confirmed when the Department of Justice admitted that there are open criminal investigations into Hunter Biden’s taxes and his overseas business arrangements. This revelations puts much of the mainstream media in an awkward position, since they went out of their way to ignore the Post’s reporting and/or tell their audiences that the whole thing was a Rudy Giuliani fever dream.
But for as bad a position as CNN and the New York Times were put in, it was nothing compared to the position Twitter suddenly found itself in. Not only did the social media site tell its users that the story was false, they actively censored it from their platform and actually blocked The New York Post’s account – that’s how certain they were about the article’s fabrication.
Well, now it may be time for Twitter to pay for this error in judgment. Isaac filed a federal defamation lawsuit against Twitter this week, seeking $500 million in damages and a public retraction from the Silicon Valley giant. At the center of the suit, Isaac said, was Twitter’s decision to label him a “hacker” and throw his business reputation into disarray.
“Plaintiff is not a hacker,” reads the lawsuit, “and the information obtained from the computer does not constitute hacked materials because Plaintiff lawfully gained access to the computer.”
Much has been made over the past year of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives Twitter and other social media platforms widespread immunity from lawsuits that arise from what people say on their site. But this particular case of defamation would not fall under that umbrella of protection, because it was Twitter officials themselves who deemed the Post’s findings “hacked materials” and it was Twitter itself that told everyone how fraudulent the story was.
This could be one to watch.