Facebook and YouTube ban naming alleged Trump impeachment whistleblower

Facebook Bans ‘Any Mention of Potential Whistleblower’s Name,’ Removes Links to Articles Divulging Identity

Fox News Flash top headlines for November 8 are here.

Facebook and YouTube are removing content that potentially names the anonymous whistleblower who sparked a presidential impeachment inquiry, with Facebook saying it violates rules against "coordinating harm" on the platform.

"Any mention of the potential whistleblower's name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant, or activist, '" the company said in a statement, initially provided in response to Breitbart.

Youtube also stated that the videos mentioning the whistleblower's name will be removed, according to CNN. The removals will reportedly have an impact on titles and descriptions of videos as well as the videos' content itself.

Other publishers that have named the alleged whistleblower on Facebook have reported that their posts have been taken down as well.

Twitter defended its decision to allow the sharing of the Central Intelligence Agency officer's name, despite acknowledgement that such tweets might violate Twitter's policies.

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"We. now know the name of the whistleblower, ".

Breitbart is one of the top-performing publishers on Facebook and was recently designated as an official Facebook News partner. However, the company said it was also removing identifying posts on the whistleblower from Breitbart. But the company's policy on such information does not consider a person's name to be private information, a category that does include details such as a person's address, contact information or medical records.

According to United States whistleblower laws, the identity of the complainant is handled with utmost significance so as to protect the identity and career in allegations against severe misconduct by government officials. Lawmakers in both parties have historically backed those protections. The lawyers sent a sharply worded cease-and-desist letter to the White House on Thursday, demanding that President Trump stop calling for the publication of the whistleblower's name, calling the tactic a "reckless and dangerous" form of intimidation.

But the whistleblower's attorneys have said that such disclosure poses a threat to their client, and they have urged news outlets to refrain from doing so.

"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".

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