NYP suggests Zuckerberg, 51 fmr intel officers face congress over Hunter Biden laptop story handling

Whether he meant to or not, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened up a volatile can of worms when he went on Joe Rogan’s podcast and claimed the FBI suggested that Facebook should consider the infamous Hunter Biden laptop story “Russian misinformation” in an attempt to explain away the social media platform’s decision to bury the story just weeks before the 2020 presidential election.

Following the surprising Rogan interview, a call from GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy for Congress to hold big tech “accountable” for what amounts to election interference “when Republicans are back in charge” after the midterm elections was picked up by the New York Post’s editorial board, which stated that not only should Zuckerberg be compelled to face Congress, so too should the 51 former intelligence officers who signed a letter stating that the laptop “has the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

As BizPac Review reported, Zuckerberg sent shockwaves through social media when he stated on “The Joe Rogan Experience” that it was the FBI that approached Facebook prior to the 2020 election and put the big tech behemoth “on high alert.”

“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, like, 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 of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,'” he said casually.

The CEO explained that Facebook “throttled” the New York Post’s story on “the laptop from hell,” meaning that users could share it, but it was unlikely that anyone would actually see it.

Zuckerberg admitted that “it sucks” that the story was buried when it turned out to be true.

“Yeah, it sucks,” he said. “It turned out after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false … I think it sucks, though, in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks.”

When the interview aired, McCarthy issued his statement.

“The FBI colluded with Big Tech to silence news stories weeks before the 2020 election in an attempt to control your access to information,” he tweeted. “Democrats in Congress have been intentionally ignoring the facts. When Republicans are back in charge, we will hold all of them accountable.”

The Post’s editorial board concurred, stating, “McCarthy’s right.”

Noting that Zuckerberg “had dumped nearly half a billion on a 2020 ‘get out the vote’ effort that plainly aimed to get out Democratic votes,” the editors have questions for the man who buried their bombshell report and likely changed the outcome of the election.

“Other questions center on the FBI: What did it actually tell Facebook?” the editors ask. “Did it only concern possible anti-Biden misinformation? (The site didn’t suppress anything anti-Trump, as best we can tell.) How exactly did the Bureau identify the threat? What could’ve led Facebook to classify well-sourced reporting from a professional news operation as misinformation?”

While the board admits that at least “some concern” over the possibility of Russian “meddling” in the 2020 election was warranted, they argue that “the most consequential 2016 meddling — the hack of Democratic National Committee emails — just made for entertaining gossip.”

“Most important, the laptop was incontestably real, from the start, despite the pretense otherwise from The New York Times, Washington Post et al,” they remind readers. “Even the letter from a host of ex-spooks suggesting it was a Russian plot didn’t remotely engage the ample evidence that it wasn’t.”

The board scoffed at Zuckerberg’s suggestion that Facebook handled the situation better than Twitter, which prohibited users from sharing the story and suspended The Post’s account.

“He can call it less bad than Twitter’s outright suppression (and shutdown of our entire account),” they write, “but censorship is censorship.”

The outlet maintains that, given how close the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was in the swing states, “all concerned in that suppression owe the nation a full explanation.”

“That includes Zuckerberg, the FBI and all 51 former intelligence officials who still won’t apologize for signing that now-infamous open letter,” The Post asserts. “In particular, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who’s doubled down on his baseless assertions, needs to come clean.”

“Collusion to suppress accurate news (as the Times, WaPo and others belatedly admit it always was) out of blatantly partisan motives in the runup to an election is deeply anti-democratic,” the editorial board says. “America deserves explanations, and apologies.”


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Melissa Fine


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