FEC to dismiss GOP complaint against Twitter over NY Post article, report says

Republicans have long alleged that social networks are suppressing conservative speech.

Carrie Mihalcik Former Managing Editor / News
Carrie was a managing editor at CNET focused on breaking and trending news. She'd been reporting and editing for more than a decade, including at the National Journal and Current TV.
Expertise Breaking News | Technology Credentials
  • Carrie has lived on both coasts and can definitively say that Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are the best.
Carrie Mihalcik
2 min read
Angela Lang/CNET

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint by the Republican National Committee that Twitter violated election laws last year by limiting the spread of a New York Post article about Hunter Biden, according to a report Monday from The New York Times

The commission's ruling was reportedly made last month and will soon become public. The FEC declined to comment, but noted it has up to 30 days to post documents on its website once an enforcement matter has been resolved. 

Republicans have long complained that social networks are suppressing conservative speech, which the companies have repeatedly denied. Those complaints intensified in October after Twitter and Facebook limited the reach of two New York Post stories about Hunter Biden, the son of then Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. 

Twitter originally said it blocked links to the articles because the content violated its rules against the distribution of hacked materials. Days later, the social network reversed course and said it would change its policy on hacked materials. 

The RNC filed a complaint with the FEC on Oct. 16, accusing Twitter of violating elections law by making "illegal, corporate in-kind contributions" to the Biden campaign by blocking links to the articles. 

The FEC, however, determined that Twitter's move to block the links has been "undertaken for a valid commercial reason, not a political purpose," according to the Times, citing a document outlining the regulator's decision. The FEC reportedly said Twitter "credibly explained" that its decision to limit the article's reach was in line with its polices at the time on hacked materials. 

Twitter declined to comment. The RNC couldn't immediately be reached for comment.