Hunter Biden Trending On Twitter Once more – Highlighting The Potential Unfold Of Misinformation As Effectively As Our Nationwide Divide
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 12: WFP USA Chairman Hunter Biden speaks during the World Food Program … [+]
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, became the talking point on social media again, and by Thursday afternoon there had been more than 133,000 tweets related to the younger Biden. Many openly made fun of him while others came in his defense – when links to a story first published in a UK tabloid on Wednesday were shared on Twitter.
Breaking news or unconfirmed rumors?
The Daily Mail, which had previously posted numerous reports on the contents of a laptop allegedly owned by Hunter Biden, claimed it had “unearthed footage” of the president’s son telling a Las Vegas prostitute that a Russian drug dealer was a drug dealer his laptops stole another copy.
The contents of the laptop (s) have been controversial since it was first reported in the run-up to last year’s presidential election. Since then, a number of stories have surfaced after the younger Biden reportedly left a laptop in a Delaware repair shop. Biden has claimed he has no memory of ever dropping the laptop in.
However, it is said to have had an abundance of devastating content. However, as Newsweek also reported, if the video posted in the Daily Mail this week were true, Hunter Biden would have lost three computers containing sensitive information, including one in Las Vegas, one in Delaware and another reportedly agents were confiscated by the federal government.
While the story sounds incredible, many who have openly spoken out against President Biden were quick to share the story on social media.
Conservative talk show host and writer Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) was among those who shared a link to coverage of The Daily Mail, saying, “The smartest person Joe Biden knows is striking again.”
This post was liked more than 10,000 times and retweeted around 2,429 times – although there was no confirmation that the story was factual anyway. Instead, that one story was posted, reposted, and circulated as if it were a fact.
Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary and White House communications director under President Trump, also jumped in on the story, writing, “For those of you who believe that Trump is controlled by Russia and is reviewing every action and tweet by his children , is that maybe worth mentioning Hunter Biden claims Russian stole his laptop … at least think about it. “
This isn’t the first time content from a laptop allegedly owned by Hunter Biden has been trending on social media for its content. Hundreds of others called for an investigation even though Hunter Biden is not in office.
“It’s an effort not to let history die,” said technology and telecommunications analyst Roger Entner of Recon Analytics.
It could be seen as a way to target the current president through his family, and it couldn’t just come from the average American, however.
“We don’t know how many of them are actually Americans or how many foreign trolls benefit from fueling divisions in our country,” added Entner.
While many targeted Hunter Biden, many others stood in his defense – at least in a roundabout way, pointing out possible transgressions by former President Trump’s family. In these cases, too, numerous allegations that had not actually been proven were presented as facts.
In this way, it could be argued that social media essentially weaponized rumors, innuendo, and hearsay as misinformation. But it also makes it very difficult to actually discuss these issues rationally.
“It is worrying because rumors lead to dangerous politics,” said Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D., international affairs coordinator at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven.
“But it’s not new either,” said Schmidt. “Benjamin Franklin published widely read newspapers that obviously contained fake news, and pamphlet publishers distributed thousands of what we now call blogs – but on paper! In the absence of other forms of mass communication, the printed word had a tremendous impact on what … people believed in public figures. “