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The New York Post recently published a story alleging it had found a cache of emails on a laptop apparently belonging to Hunter Biden that demonstrate widespread allegations of nepotism and corruption during US vice presidential spell of his father Joe Biden.

The story became controversial, especially among Trump supporters, when Twitter and Facebook blocked the distribution of the story's URL. As the New York Times reports:

Hours after the Post published its article, Facebook said on Wednesday that it had decided to limit the distribution of the story on its platform so it could fact-check the claims. Twitter said it was blocking the article because it included people’s personal phone numbers and email addresses, which violated their privacy rules, and because the article violated their policy on hacked materials.

The accuracy of the claims has been questioned by, for example, this Techcrunch analysis. The NYT report above says:

Some security experts expressed skepticism about the provenance and authenticity of the emails.

There are plenty of events in the claimed story about how the email cache was uncovered that TechCrunch found implausible. The New York Post have not, apparently, released (or possibly even investigated) any detailed technical evidence that the emails are authentic.

Are the published emails authentic?

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  • If this is about NYP's story, and FB blocking it, etc, then it's a current event, obviously. If this is about the contents of the emails, that's probably better, but you'll have to be more specific. If you want an analysis like TechCrunch's, that's simply off topic. – fredsbend Oct 15 '20 at 15:22
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    Then the politics: "is this a case of media bias from a liberal media refusing to propagate the story?" There's so much goofy about this question, I don't know what to suggest. – fredsbend Oct 15 '20 at 15:29
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    @fredsbend I thought the thread of the question was clear: it is about the allegations and the evidence related to them, not about the blocking of the story which is merely context explaining why the story is topical. The content of the claims are not fast moving but are clear and specific allegations and (apparent) evidence to back them. Your complaint about my final phrasing of the question is fair as what I said can clearly be misinterpreted so I've altered that sentence to be clear the question is about the claim and not the blocking of it. – matt_black Oct 15 '20 at 16:38
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    @KDog that assumes that it was Hunter Biden who signed the contract which if far from validated even in the original story told by the shop owner. – matt_black Oct 18 '20 at 13:39
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    I don't believe a meaningful answer can be given because we lack too much information. All we can say is that the provenance of the published data has many weak links and unanswered questions. Hence I've voted to close as a current event. – Paul Johnson Oct 18 '20 at 14:00
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Unproven, at this time.

Specifically, 10/19/2020

There is no reliable proof either way whether these emails are authentic.

At best, these emails fit with established theory - either that Biden was corrupt, or that Russia is trying to interfere in US elections. However, fitting with already-believed theory is not proof.

After Fox passed on the story for credibility reasons, the political actor shopping it (Rudy Giuliani) brought it to the New York Post.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-election-2020/fox-news-hunter-biden-emails-story-new-york-post-giuliani-b1161800.html

Further, at the Post, the original author, who wrote up the story, refused to put his name on it. It was posted under the by-line of a non-reporter.

No reporter put their name on it.

It is plausible that these are fakes, but it is also plausible that these are real.

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    I think this answer might be improved by pointing out that if the information was distributed as part of a misinformation campaign, it is quite likely that some of the emails are authentic, presumably obtained by hacking, mixed with faked emails to add plausibility. – antlersoft Oct 20 '20 at 13:31
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    @antlersoft As part of a suspected misinformation campaign because at this point there is no solid evidence either way. Even though there is a lot of questions about how and why this all happened we don't have solid proof about it. – Joe W Oct 20 '20 at 15:26
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    This The Hill story that "50 former intelligence officials warn NY Post story sounds like Russian disinformation" seems relevant here: thehill.com/homenews/campaign/… – jeffronicus Oct 20 '20 at 16:33

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