Facebook suppressed stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election after the FBI told the company they should look out for Russian “misinformation,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told podcast host Joe Rogan Thursday.
The “distribution” of the bombshell report was suppressed on Facebook for “five or seven” days when it was being determined if the laptop was real, Zuckerberg said, but users could still “share it.”
Facebook engineers downgraded the report within the platform’s “ranking and newsfeed” features, so “fewer people saw it than would have otherwise,” he said.
Asked how many fewer user saw the story as a result of the suppression, Zuckerberg said he couldn’t provide an exact number but offered that the effect was “meaningful.”
Facebook decided to suppress the story after the FBI informed executives they should “be on high alert” for Russian “misinformation,” Zuckerberg claimed.
BREAKING: Mark Zuckerberg tells Joe Rogan that Facebook algorithmically censored the Hunter Biden laptop story for 7 days based on a general request from the FBI to restrict election misinformation. pic.twitter.com/llTA7IqGa1
— Minds💡 (@minds) August 25, 2022
The FBI told Facebook 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 that’s similar to that, so just be vigilant,” Zuckerberg said.
The FBI did not specifically say to censor the Biden laptop, but Facebook decided it “fit the pattern,” he added.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responded to Zuckerberg’s admission, vowing to hold Democrats, the FBI and Big Tech accountable when “Republicans are back in charge.”
“The FBI colluded with Big Tech to silence news stories weeks before the 2020 election in an attempt to control your access to information. Democrats in Congress have been intentionally ignoring the facts. When Republicans are back in charge, we will hold all of them accountable,” McCarthy said.
A Delaware computer repairman handed the laptop over to the FBI after Hunter Biden left it in his shop. Rudy Giuliani obtained the laptop and provided it to the New York Post ahead of the 2020 election, prompting a cascade of stories about Hunter’s shady foreign business dealings and chaotic private life.
Mainstream reporters largely ignored the stories for the better part of a year, while many pundits dismissed them as Russian disinformation, until the authenticity of the laptop’s contents was ultimately confirmed by several major newspapers.
Zuckerberg seemed to suggest that Facebook’s handling of the initial New York Post story compared favorably to that of Twitter, which blocked users entirely from sharing it publicly or privately, via direct message.
Whistleblowers told Republican Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson that the FBI officials told agents not to look into the laptop, believing that it would influence the election. Democrats have claimed the FBI influenced the 2016 election by opening an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“After the FBI obtained the Hunter Biden laptop from the Wilmington, DE computer shop, these whistleblowers stated that local FBI leadership told employees, ‘you will not look at that Hunter Biden laptop’ and that the FBI is ‘not going to change the outcome of the election again,’” Johnson wrote in a letter to the Department of Justice.
Biden’s laptop was abandoned in a Delaware computer repair shop in 2019, and some of the contents was first published three weeks before the 2020 election by the New York Post.
The laptop features emails showing the first son’s foreign business meetings with Joe Biden, despite the president saying he had never spoken to his son about foreign business dealings.
In audio recovered from the laptop, Biden is heard saying that his father will “talk about anything that I want him to, that he believes in.”
“If I say it’s important to me, then he will work a way in which to make it a part of his platform. My dad respects me more than he respects anyone in the world, and I know that to be certain, so it’s not going to be about whether it affects his politics,” Biden added in reference to his father.
The laptop also contains footage of Biden doing drugs and pornographic tapes.