New York Post Fires Staffer Who Posted Racist, Violent Messages to Website and Twitter Account

UPDATED: The website and Twitter account of the right-leaning New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, were hacked Thursday morning before the publication regained control.

The outlet said an investigation indicated an employee was behind the hack, and that the Post has fired the individual.

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In a statement to Variety, a rep for the Post said, “The New York Post’s investigation indicates that the unauthorized conduct was committed by an employee, and the employee has been terminated. This morning, we immediately removed the vile and reprehensible content from our website and social media accounts.”

The Post did not reveal the name of the employee it said perpetrated the hack.

The person who hijacked the Post’s Twitter account posted links to fake stories on its site with extremely inflammatory headlines. Those included including “We Must Assassinate AOC for America,” referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and “Zeldin: Eric Adams Is NYC’s Fried Chicken Eating Monkey,” references to New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), the Republican who is running for governor of New York.

Other now-deleted bogus headlines that had been posted to the Post’s Twitter feed included “Devine: We Must Murder Joe and Hunter Biden”; “Gov. Abbott: I Will Start Ordering Border Patrol to Start Slaughtering Illegals”; “Rufo: We Must Destroy and Imprison Union Teachers”; and a fake quote attributed to Zeldin about sexually assaulting New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, his rival in the gubernatorial race.

The Post’s Twitter account currently has 2.8 million followers. The publication’s Twitter account was previously in the headlines two years ago, after the social network blocked the New York Post for 16 days in October 2020 over the newspaper’s series of stories about Hunter Biden, in what became a flashpoint for Republicans charging Twitter with censorship of conservative viewpoints. The Post stories alleged that Joe Biden, who was elected president of the U.S. the following month, and his son Hunter engaged in corrupt business dealings in Ukraine and China.

Twitter initially said the Post ran afoul of its “hacked materials” policy, given that the paper said the source for its Biden exposés was info supplied by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who allegedly obtained it from a MacBook Pro purported to belong to Hunter Biden. Twitter subsequently reversed the decision, saying that it had updated its hacked-materials policy and would not retroactively apply that to the New York Post. Other news outlets, including the New York Times, have since reported that the laptop did belong to Hunter Biden and the documents on it were authentic.

Elon Musk, who is on the cusp of closing the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, had criticized the company for freezing the New York Post’s account.

“Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,” he tweeted April 26, the day after he announced clinching the deal to buy Twitter.

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