It reads: “In October 2020, when the New York Post published articles based on evidence from Hunter Biden’s laptop, many news and social media organizations inappropriately rushed to censor and discredit the initial reporting and falsely labeled it as ‘disinformation.’ You recently appeared to indicate that the reason why Facebook made the unwise decision to censor articles about Hunter Biden’s laptop was based off an alert from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The letter then references Zuckerberg’s recent interview with Joe Rogan in which the Facebook boss said the FBI told the company in the weeks before the election that there would be a document dump that was actually Russian propaganda.
“Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think 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 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.
Grassley and Johnson’s letter continued: “Your revelation that Facebook took steps to censor information about Hunter Biden on its platform based on the FBI’s guidance raises even more questions about the FBI’s actions regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop. As you may know, whistleblowers have recently alleged to Senator Grassley that in August 2020, FBI officials initiated a scheme to downplay derogatory information on Hunter Biden for the purpose of shutting down investigative activity relating to his potential criminal exposure by labeling it ‘disinformation.’
“Whistleblowers have also alleged to Senator Johnson that local FBI leadership instructed its employees not to look at the Hunter Biden laptop immediately after the FBI had obtained it. The American people deserve to know whether the FBI used Facebook as part of their alleged plan to discredit information about Hunter Biden. If so, Congress and the American people require clarity with respect to the extent the FBI communicated with Facebook during the 2020 election about Hunter Biden-related information.”
The letter then asks Zuckerberg to turn over all relevant information by Sept. 12, 2022.
In the wake of the Meta CEO’s revelation last week, the FBI defended itself from criticism, releasing a statement last Friday arguing that it “routinely notifies US private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information.”
The FBI added in its statement that the bureau has “provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors.”