Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted on Thursday that an FBI warning was behind Facebook’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 election. A poll in the wake of the election showed 16 percent of Biden voters would have changed their vote if they knew about the scandal.
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During an appearance on the popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Zuckerberg told host Joe Rogan that the FBI warned Facebook about “Russian propaganda,” telling the tech giant to “be vigilant” in the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
“The background here is the FBI basically came to us, some folks on our team, and was, like, ‘Hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert. … We thought 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 that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,'” Zuckerberg said.
“If something is reported to us as potentially misinformation, important misinformation … we also visit third-party fact-checking programs because we don’t want to be deciding what’s true and false,” he added. “For the, I think it was, five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false, the distribution [of the Hunter Biden laptop story] on Facebook was decreased.”
Zuckerberg noted that users were still allowed to share the story, but said Facebook’s interference made it “so fewer people saw it than would have otherwise.”
When asked how much the distribution was reduced, Zuckerberg said, “It’s meaningful.”
“We just kind of thought, hey, look, if the FBI, which I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, it’s like very professional law enforcement, they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something, then I want to take that seriously,” Zuckerberg said.
Rogan then asked Zuckerberg if the FBI specifically asked Facebook to be “on guard” about the Hunter Biden laptop story.
“I don’t remember if it was that specifically, but it basically fit the pattern,” Zuckerberg replied.
Zuckerberg’s admission adds weight to concerns that the FBI interfered in the 2020 presidential election to reduce negative coverage of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. According to “highly credible” whistleblowers who spoke to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the FBI had a “scheme” to cover up negative information about criminal activity involving President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, before the 2020 presidential election,
In a July 25 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, Sen. Grassley revealed that “highly credible” whistleblowers alleged the FBI falsely portrayed “derogatory information relating to Hunter Biden” as “disinformation.”
Grassley wrote that the FBI allegedly developed information regarding Hunter Biden’s “criminal financial and related activity” in 2020, but in August of that year – just three months before the presidential election involving his father Joe Biden – an FBI Headquarters team used an internal assessment by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten to “improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation.”
According to a Media Research Center poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election, 16 percent of Biden voters said they would not have voted for Biden if they had known about the FBI’s investigation into the Biden family – meaning the public’s awareness of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal would likely have changed the outcome of the election.