The day after Mark Zuckerberg appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience where he told the podcast host that Facebook repressed the breaking news on Hunter Biden's laptop due to a warning from the FBI, the federal agency responded.
In Thursday's episode of Rogan's show, the Facebook co-founder said the FBI didn't name the particular New York Post article about Hunter Biden's laptop, but the article "fit the pattern" of an FBI warning.
In a viral clip of the episode posted to Twitter by independent social media platform Minds, Rogan inquired about Facebook's censorship policies.
"How do you guys handle things when they're a big news item that's controversial?" he asked. "There was a lot of attention on Twitter during the election because of the Hunter Biden laptop story. So you guys censored that as well?"
Zuckerberg said Facebook "took a different path" than Twitter. The FBI urged Facebook to be "on high alert" over fears of Russian propaganda, as evidenced in the 2016 election, he said.
According to the tech mogul, the FBI warned about "some kind of dump" of information and said the platform should be vigilant.
"Our protocol is different from Twitter's," Zuckerberg continued. "What Twitter did is they said 'You can't share this at all.'"
"We didn't do that," he said.
During the five to seven days the Hunter Biden laptop story was being reviewed by fact-checkers, Facebook decreased distribution, Zuckerberg said.
"You could still share it, you could still consume it," he said. "The ranking in Newsfeed was a little bit less, so fewer people saw it than otherwise."
"By what percentage," Rogan asked.
"I don't know off the top of my head, but it's meaningful," Zuckerberg replied.
Zuckerberg justified his company's decision, saying he was following FBI orders which he said he views as a "legitimate institution."
In a statement released Friday night, the FBI said it provides companies with "foreign threat indicators" to aid in protecting their platforms and customers. The agency also said it doesn't ask companies to repress content.
"The FBI routinely notifies US private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats," the statement reads.
"The FBI has provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors. The FBI will continue to work closely with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to keep the public informed of potential threats, but the FBI cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action on information received."
Meta responded to the bureau's statement that same night.
"The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference – nothing specific about Hunter Biden," it wrote on Twitter.
Records show Hunter Biden’s company made millions from a joint venture funded by a Chinese company, reported NBC News.
The New York Post's report alleges that a recovered version of Hunter Biden's laptop included emails indicating then-Vice President Joe Biden abused his power to help his son's business dealings in Ukraine
An NBC analysis of the hard drive revealed the iCloud account and documents released by two Senate committees show Hunter Biden and his company brought in about $11 million. It came through his roles as an attorney and a board member with a Ukrainian firm accused of bribery, as well as his work with a Chinese businessman accused of fraud.
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