Facebook removes content that may name the anonymous whistleblower who has caused one investigation into presidential accusation, saying it violates rules against "coordination of damage" on the platform. The decision follows an earlier choice to remove named ads that have been published on Twitter by Republican political figures, including Donald Trump, Jr.
BuzzFeed reported attempts to distribute the name of the alleged whistleblower earlier this week and to confirm that Facebook would remove advertisements targeted at them. BuzzFeed noted that the person, a former Obama executive and current CIA officer, has been a target for conservative commentators since 2017. But recent articles from the conservative sites Real clear investigations and Breitbart raised the profile of the officer, especially after the Breitbart article was shared by Donald Trump, Jr. It has since surfaced via social media.
President Donald Trump has called for the whistleblower's name to be released, but US officials and many media have refrained from printing it. (It is also not clear that the person mentioned in those articles is actually the whistleblower.) In a statement, Facebook agreed.
"Any mention of the name of the potential whistleblower violates our coordinating claims policy, which prohibits content & # 39; from witnesses, informers or activists. & # 39; We remove all mention of the name of the potential whistleblower and review this decision if their name is widely used published in the media or used by public figures in debate, "said a spokesperson. A search for the name on Facebook has yielded only a handful of results.
Facebook has recently defended with a hands-off approach to political content, especially with advertisements, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes Facebook should not be controlled by facts. In this case, however, it justifies the policy decision closer to the anti-harassment rules – at least while the name is not reported generally.