The day after Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook limited a polarizing story ahead of the 2020 election because of an FBI warning, the federal agency said it can only alert a private entity of a potential threat, not require it to take action.
In an episode of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast made available Thursday, Zuckerberg said that although the FBI didn’t specifically name a New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop, it “fit the pattern” of what the FBI warned about.
The Facebook cofounder said the FBI is a “legitimate institution” and that the warning prompted him to “take that seriously.” The story was allowed to remain on Facebook, albeit with limited exposure, Zuckerberg said.
In a statement Friday night, the FBI said it has provided companies with “foreign threat indicators” to help protect their platforms and customers, but that it “cannot ask, or direct, companies 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 agency said.
Meta on Friday night responded to the FBI statement via Twitter. “The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference — nothing specific about Hunter Biden,” the statement said.