Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a ‘Conversation on Free Expression” in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Facebook announced Friday it will remove from its platform any content that purports to name the U.S. official whose whistleblower complaint led to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said attempts to unmask the whistleblower violate its policies around coordinating harm, which prohibits content “outing of witness, informant or activist.”
“We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in the debate,” the spokesperson said.
Facebook on Wednesday took down ads purporting to name the whistleblower after critics questioned the company’s ability to enforce its policies. The ads were viewed several hundred thousand times, according to The Washington Post. Facebook’s decision affects all posts on the site, not just ads.
The decision comes after the name of a person purported to be the whistleblower had been widely shared on social media and in conservative news articles in recent weeks. Further attention was drawn to the issue after Trump called for the whistleblower to be unmasked, prompting his son Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday to tweet a link to a Breitbart story purporting to name the whistleblower.
The House passed a resolution to forge ahead with the impeachment inquiry into whether Trump solicited help from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.