CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that Facebook throttled the spread of a New York Post article earlier this month after a warning from law enforcement to be on "heightened alert" about "hack and leak operations" in the final days before the 2020 election.
Zuckerberg said Facebook was not contacted by the FBI about the New York Post article, which alleged ties between the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings with Ukraine. He also said he had no evidence that the article was the work of Russian election interference.
He made the remarks during questioning from lawmakers at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing where Zuckerberg testified Wednesday alongside Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.
“One of the threats that the FBI has alerted our company and the public to was the possibility of a hack and leak operation in the days or weeks leading up to this election," Zuckerberg said.
Alerts in public remarks and private meetings from law enforcement “suggested we be on high alert and sensitivity if a trove of documents appeared that we should view that with suspicion that it might be part of a foreign manipulation attempt,” he said.
Conservatives accused Facebook and Twitter of interfering in the 2020 election by limiting the spread of the article which cited unverified emails that were reportedly discovered by Trump’s allies. USA TODAY has not been able to confirm the authenticity of the emails.
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At the time Facebook told USA TODAY it limited the spread of the New York Post article while waiting for it to be fact-checked. Twitter blocked users from tweeting out the link to the article and from sending it in private messages. Dorsey later said Twitter was wrong to block the article.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Zuckerberg: Facebook throttled NY Post article after FBI warning