Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg told Joe Rogan that he and his company fully complied with a request from the F.B.I. to withhold and censor the Hunter Biden laptop story for at least seven days.
BREAKING: Mark Zuckerberg tells Joe Rogan that Facebook algorithmically censored the Hunter Biden laptop story for 7 days based on a general request from the FBI to restrict election misinformation. pic.twitter.com/llTA7IqGa1
— Minds💡 (@minds) August 25, 2022
Zuckerberg’s admission has sparked outrage amongst GOP lawmakers with his revelation that Facebook deliberately used an algorithm to suppress stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020 before the November election.
In response, Republicans have vowed to investigate Zuckerberg, the FBI and Hunter Biden if they retake the majority in the House in the midterms.
“This isn’t just insane, it’s election interference. The Oversight Committee must immediately invite Mark Zuckerberg to testify—under oath—about the FBI’s attempts to circumvent the First Amendment. The American people deserve answers and accountability,” Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said.
GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy added: “The FBI colluded with Big Tech to silence news stories weeks before the 2020 election in an attempt to control your access to information.”
“Democrats in Congress have been intentionally ignoring the facts. When Republicans are back in charge, we will hold all of them accountable.”
The FBI colluded with Big Tech to silence news stories weeks before the 2020 election in an attempt to control your access to information.
Democrats in Congress have been intentionally ignoring the facts. When Republicans are back in charge, we will hold all of them accountable. https://t.co/kUc8J9OAvq
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 26, 2022
Other GOP lawmakers responded to Zuckerberg’s admission:
Complete corruption, plain and simple.
The FBI and the DOJ must provide answers about why they interfered on behalf of Joe Biden. https://t.co/KcDlbAFj9T
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 26, 2022
The more we learn, the more questions arise. We need whistleblowers to come forward to expose the truth, hold people accountable and restore integrity and credibility to the FBI and federal agencies. We need to get to the bottom of this corruption. https://t.co/Yffim4RWga
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) August 26, 2022
So the FBI preemptively warned Facebook off Hunter Biden laptop reporting. This same agency effectively laundered Russian disinfo in the 2016 election in the form of Steele dossier. And later lied to a court to get wiretaps https://t.co/wrD01hSbFe
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 26, 2022
Daily Mail reported:
Zuckerberg said Facebook enacted a policy of ‘decreased distribution’ to deliberately push down the story on people’s newsfeeds to limit its reach, while Twitter went even further and banned the story from its platform.
The billionaire said: ‘I think it was five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false. The distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people were still allowed to share it. So you could still share it. You could still consume it.’
Three weeks before the election, the New York Post revealed the sordid contents of Hunter’s laptop, showing compromising photos of the then presidential candidate’s son and his questionable business dealings implicating his father.
The huge cache of files, emails and photos was seen by many as a smoking gun that could have turned the tide in the election, but social media bosses at Facebook and Twitter minimized the story for unfounded fears it could be Russian misinformation.
DailyMail.com independently verified the laptop with a forensic analysis by top cyber experts and has been regularly publishing revelations ever since, while many other news outlets refused to touch the story.
But now, Zuckerberg has openly admitted how he tried to limit the electorate from accessing the stories in a terrifying insight into how easily democracy can be undermined by tech firms.
Fox News added:
When asked if there was any “regret” about suppressing a story that turned out be factual, Zuckerberg replied, “Yeah, yeah. I mean, it sucks.”
However, he went on to defend Facebook’s practices, telling Rogan its process was “pretty reasonable” since his platform still allowed the New York Post articles to be distributed rather than the complete blackout that Twitter enforced.
Rogan appeared sympathetic to Zuckerberg’s predicament, especially regarding the FBI’s warning of Russian propaganda.
“It’s probably also the case of armchair quarterbacking, right? Or at least Monday morning quarterbacking… because in the moment, you had reason to believe based on the FBI talking to you that it wasn’t real and that there was going to be some propaganda. So what do you do?” Rogan said. “And then, if you just let it get out there and what if it changes the election and it turns out to be bulls—, that’s a real problem. And I would imagine that those kinds of decisions are the most difficult.”
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, issued a statement saying “None of this is new. Mark testified before the Senate nearly two years ago that in the lead up to the 2020 election, the FBI warned about the threat of foreign hack and leak operations… We took that seriously, and as Mark said when he testified, we didn’t block the New York Post story, we temporarily reduced its distribution to give fact-checking partners time to review it.”