The FBI has responded to Mark Zuckerberg’s claim that it was their warnings to Facebook that led to the decision to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
The Meta CEO made the claim in an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook suppressed the reach of the story through an algorithm in response to an advisory by the FBI to be on the lookout for a “Russian propaganda” drop ahead of the 2020 elections.
“The background here is the FBI I think basically came to some folks on our team [and] were like, ‘Hey, just so you know, 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 similar to that, so just be vigilant,’” Zuckerberg told Rogan.
On Friday, the FBI issued a statement saying that it did not exclusively ask Facebook to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
It said 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” and that the agency, “has provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors.”
The statement added that the FBI “cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action on information received.”
Meta also issued a statement clarifying that the FBI did not ask Facebook to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
“The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference—nothing specific about Hunter Biden,” Meta said in the statement.