Facebook, YouTube delete posts claiming to name Ukraine whistleblower

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Facebook and YouTube have announced they will wipe all reference to the purported whistleblower in the ongoing "Ukrainegate" saga.

So far, President Donald Trump has avoided identifying the whistleblower by name. Exposing whistleblowers can be legally dubious, even for a president. You know who it is. The US President also inferred something really wild by saying that in the old days' people were brutal with spies and that now things are handled differently. The president allegedly pressured Zelenskiy into providing information about Joe Biden and his son, Hunter's, business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company-including the accusation that Biden used his political influence to have an investigation into the squashed.

However, on Twitter the name was circulating widely on Friday. (It's not clear that the person named in those articles is actually the whistleblower, either.) In a statement, Facebook concurred. Still, the action wouldn't be surprising - the company said in a statement to PCMag that naming the alleged whistleblower is in violation of its policies.

But Rosborough said the Owens tweet and others did not violate that policy because the tweets did not share the supposed whistleblower's home addresses, contact information or financial details. There is a permit for sharing information that is publicly available elsewhere, in a non-abusive manner.

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The company said today that mention of the potential whistleblower's name violates Facebook's "coordinating harm policy", which prohibits material that could out a "witness, informant, or activist".

"Although whistleblowers enjoy protections under a federal law created to encourage government employees to report wrongdoing without fear of retaliation, Heidi Kitrosser, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, said those protections would not prohibit private individuals from seeking to unmask a whistleblower". But, she added, there could be other possible legal recourse. That post now has more than 15,000 retweets. Twitter did not immediately respond to messages for comment. Facebook said in response to criticism of that decision that Breitbart is an unpaid partner, unlike some outlets in the section. "To that end, I am deeply troubled with Facebook seeking to profit from advertising that would place someone in harm's way".

This is not the first time Twitter and Facebook diverged on important policies. The ads were taken down by Facebook on Wednesday following the newspaper's probe.

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