Meta / Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed Facebook partially censored the Hunter Biden laptop story at the general request of the FBI.
Zuckerberg dropped the bombshell when appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast, saying his staff were approached by FBI agents warning them on “Russian propaganda,” and that they should be “on guard.”
While Twitter outright censored the New York Post report on the Hunter Biden laptop and its concents – which are now confirmed to be legitimate and not Russian propaganda – Facebook censored the story with its monstrous algorithm.
Zuckerberg said his platform took a “different path” from Twitter, but confirmed they did restrict how many users could have seen the report.
“Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think basically came to us – some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert… We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,’”
The Facebook CEO confirmed their third party “fact checkers”, which they put the onus on for validating whether hot button topics are allowed on their platforms, immediately labeled the report as “misinformation” and thus it was censored. Zuckerberg did insist that users could still share the story, but said its “ranking in news feed was a little bit less.”
“Fewer people saw it than would’ve otherwise,” the CEO said – to which Rogan pressed him “by what percentage?” Zuckerberg then said he doesn’t know the amount immediately, but said “it’s meaningful.” Here’s the clip from our friends at Minds:
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
“But we weren’t sort of as black and white about it as Twitter. We just kind of thought hey look, if the FBI, which I still view is a legitimate institution in this country, it’s a very professional law enforcement – they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something then I want to take that seriously,” Zuckerberg said.
Rogan then pressed the CEO again by asking “did they specifically say you need to be on guard about that story?” to which Zuckerberg replied “No, I don’t remember if it was that specifically, but it basically fit the pattern.”
Zuckerberg was asked if he had any regrets on censoring the story which turned out to be true. “Yeah, yeah. I mean, it sucks”, the CEO replied.
“It turned out after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false,” Zuckerberg said. “I think it sucks, though, in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks.”
To recap, the New York Post report confirmed tens of thousands of emails between then-POTUS candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and business associates. The emails confirmed Biden’s son used his access to his father while he was vice president to solidify lucrative business deals in countries abroad.
Zuckerberg defended Facebook’s policies again, saying they’re “pretty reasonable” as they still allowed the New York Post to publish things, while Twitter completely locked their account. The crux of the issue is the United States government directly pressured a private company to censor a story that could have negatively affected a presidential candidate.
Closing out that discussion, Rogan seemed to agree with Facebook and Twitter’s approach to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, likening it to “armchair quarterbacking.”
“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 bullshit, that’s a real problem. And I would imagine that those kinds of decisions are the most difficult.”
Meta issued a statement (via Fox News) after the podcast started making the rounds:
“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.”
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