During a recent appearance on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Meta CEO and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg told Rogan that Facebook’s restrictions around the New York Post’s 2020 article on Hunter Biden were based on FBI misinformation warnings.
The Post’s article alleged that data recovered from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, included emails that indicated Joe Biden used his position as vice president to help his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
Critics of Facebook’s actions have taken Zuckerberg’s remarks to mean that Facebook censored news unfavorable to Joe Biden in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. In response to Zuckerberg, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tweeted, “FBI & Facebook/Big Tech interfered in 2020 election Facebook acted as an arm of govt.”
The FBI has also responded to Zuckerberg’s statement, saying in a statement released Friday night that it “routinely notifies U.S. private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats,” reports NBC News.
According to The Hill, the FBI also stated that it has “provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors.”
The statement additionally noted that the FBI works with “federal, state, local and private sector partners to keep the public informed of potential threats, but it cannot request or order companies to take any action based on the information it provides,” per The Hill.
After the podcast episode aired, Meta tweeted that nothing Zuckerberg told Rogan was breaking news. Zuckerberg testified to Congress nearly two years ago that the FBI warned Facebook “about the threat of foreign hack and leak operations” in the lead-up to the 2020 election, Meta shared, along with an article detailing the testimony.
“The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference — nothing specific about Hunter Biden,” Meta wrote in another tweet.