Monday, November 18, 2019

Facebook Removes Any News Reporting On - or Even Mention of - Who the Whistleblower Is Alleged to Be

Facebook is removing any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name and is cracking down against Facebook publishers that mention any allegation of the potential whistleblower’s name, claiming they are violating Facebook’s Community Standards and Policies.

For example, on Wednesday evening, Facebook removed Breitbart posts reporting on on the fact that other respected news outlets have reported that the identity of the alleged whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella. Any Facebook user who attempts to click on that article on Facebook is now given a message that says, “this content isn’t available at the moment.”

To be clear, Breitbart did not “out” the alleged whistleblower but did provide additional relevant reporting about him; he is, after all, a public figure, having served on the National Security Council. Moreover, his name has been used in the Mueller report (p283) and Ambassador Bill Taylor’s testimony.

Administrators of Breitbart News’ Facebook page began receiving notifications on Wednesday evening stating that Breitbart’s page is “at risk of being unpublished” but were not given any details as to why, or even which posts were allegedly at issue.

Yesterday afternoon, however, in response to questions from Breitbart, a Facebook spokesman issued the following statement:

Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, 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 debate.

Breitbart News is currently the 68th-most visited site in the United States according to Alexa, and the 13th most-engaged Facebook publisher in the world according to NewsWhip.

Multiple other publishers have named the alleged whistleblower or reported on outlets naming him, including Heavy.com, the Washington Examiner, The Federalist, and the Western Journal. Saagar Enjeti, Chief Washington Correspondent for The Hill, also tweeted the alleged whistleblower’s name.

Radio hosts Mark Levin and Glenn Beck, Students for Trump co-chair Ryan Fournier, former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza, One America News host Jack Posobiec, and TownHall.com senior columnist Kurt Schlichter are among the other public figures and major media personalities who have also named the alleged whistleblower.

It isn’t only conservatives reporting on Ciaramella. New York Magazine and HuffPost contributor Yashar Ali identified Ciaramella as the alleged whistleblower in a since-deleted tweet. Ali claimed to have confirmed the identity with three sources. Facebook’s requirement to revise its policy on Ciaramella appears to already have been met.

Other publishers that have named the alleged whistleblower on Facebook have reported that their posts have been taken down as well.

Are you an insider at Reddit or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address .

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.

Allum Bokhari

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