Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook censored the Hunter Biden laptop story for up to a week
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Featured Image Credit: The Joe Rogan Experience/Spotify
Mark Zuckerberg has revealed Facebook censored the Hunter Biden laptop story after he was warned about misinformation from the FBI.
The Meta CEO made a surprise appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where the two talked about social media and how it's affecting the world at the moment.
Rogan asked Zuckerberg about one of the biggest issues that plagued Joe Biden's US Presidential election campaign in 2020.
Just before Americans went to the polls to vote for Biden or Donald Trump, a story was released by The New York Post claiming Joe's son, Hunter, had a laptop that was handed into the FBI by a computer repair shop.
There was a lot of speculation about what was actually on the laptop and Donald Trump's team leapt at the chance to criticise Biden.
BREAKING: Mark Zuckerberg tells Joe Rogan that Facebook algorithmically censored the Hunter Biden laptop story for 7 days based on a general request from the FBI to restrict election misinformation. pic.twitter.com/llTA7IqGa1— Minds💡 (@minds) August 25, 2022
However, because so much was unknown about the story, it was censored on social media.
Twitter restricted users from sharing The Post's article about the story, however Facebook chose to go a different route.
Zuckerberg explained to Joe Rogan that in the lead-up to the 2020 US Election, FBI agents spoke with Meta staff about misinformation due to the issues that allegedly plagued the 2016 election.
These agents said Facebook needs to be on high-alert for a potential bombshell, but didn't reveal exactly what it was going to be.
When the Hunter Biden laptop story was published and started gaining traction, Zuckerberg said they erred on the side of caution and censored it for up to a week.
"We just kind of thought, 'Hey look, if the FBI — which I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, it's very professional law enforcement — they come to us and tell us we need to be on guard about something, then I want to take that seriously," he said.
He added: “This is a hyper-political issue, so depending on what side of the political spectrum, you either think we didn’t censor enough or censored it way too much, but we weren’t as black and white about it as Twitter."
Zuckerberg said people were still able to share the article Facebook, unlike Twitter.
However, the distribution was decreased in people's newsfeeds on Facebook because the story kept getting flagged as false by fact checkers.
He added: "For the five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false, the distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people were still allowed to share it."
When asked whether he felt this decision was, in hindsight, a good one, Zuckerberg said the process was right but the reality was regrettable.
“Yeah, it sucks...it turned out after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false," he said.
"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.”