Why FBI remains silent over Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg accusations that the agency pushed Facebook in 2020

On Friday, the FBI did not confirm or deny reports that it had informed Facebook about an impending “dump” of “Russian propaganda” before the news of Hunter Biden’s laptop became public during the 2020 election season.

However, the agency did make an effort to put some space between itself and the Facebook activity that it had encouraged. According to NBC News, the FBI has stated that the bureau does offer “businesses with ‘foreign danger indicators’ to assist secure their platforms and users, but that the government “cannot ask, or directly instruct, corporations to take action on information received.”

“The FBI 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,” the bureau told NBC News.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, revealed on Thursday that the FBI had warned Facebook of an imminent “dump” of “Russian propaganda” shortly before the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” story broke. This caused the story to be shared on the platform to a less “meaningful” degree than it would have been otherwise.

“The FBI, I think basically came to us — some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, um, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert. There was the — we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election,” Zuckerberg explained to Joe Rogan. “We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump of — that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”

“We just kind of thought, Hey look, if the FBI, which, you know, I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, it’s a very professional law enforcement,” Zuckerberg continued. “They come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something. Then I wanna take that seriously.”

When Rogan questioned Mark Zuckerberg more about the allegation, he admitted that it was true. “Yeah. That is to say, it stinks. I mean, it became clear after the event, I mean, after the fact-checkers investigated it, no one was able to argue that it was fake, right? Therefore, there was a period of time during which it received a reduced amount of dissemination.

According to information provided to Senator Ron Johnson by whistleblowers, the leadership of the FBI barred its officers from probing Hunter Biden’s laptop until after the results of the election in 2020 had been determined, even though the FBI was in communication with Facebook at the time (R-WI). According to the people who came forward with the information, the FBI did not want to examine the laptop because the agency feared that public revelation might affect the outcome of the election in 2020:

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.” Further, these whistleblowers allege that the FBI did not begin to examine the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop until after the 2020 presidential election—potentially a year after the FBI obtained the laptop in December 2019.

According to the results of a poll, the antics around Hunter’s “laptop from hell” had an effect on the election in 2020. When the FBI said that the material on Hunter Biden’s laptop was “disinformation,” seventy-four percent of Americans thought the agency deceived the public. Seventy-nine percent of people in the United States believe that former President Donald Trump would have been successful in winning reelection in 2020 if voters had been aware of Hunter’s laptop. When asked if they “agreed or disagreed the electorate did not have access to information that may have been essential to their decision at the polls,” 78 percent of Americans said that they “agreed” with this statement. Twelve percent of respondents did not agree.

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