Facebook, YouTube ban mention of alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower’s name

Facebook, YouTube ban mention of alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower’s name

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Most of the mainstream media have avoided any mention of the name of the alleged whistleblower in the Trump-Ukraine scandal, and major social media companies are now censoring any mention of his name.

On Thursday, YouTube removed two LaCorte News videos that mentioned the name of CIA analyst and former Obama administration official Eric Ciaramella, alleged to be the whistleblower whose complaint sparked an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Facebook has also removed a number of LaCorte News stories that made mention of Ciaramella and threatened to unpublish the site if it continued to violate its community standards.

The story: Facebook and YouTube announced Friday that they will be scrubbing all mentions of Ciaramella's name on their platforms — a move which comes after some right-leaning news outlets and Republican politicians, including President Trump, have pushed for the release of the whistleblower's name.

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"Any mention of the potential whistleblower's name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant, or activists,'" a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement Friday, per The Washington Examiner. "We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower's name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate."

Shortly after Facebook's announcement, YouTube made a similar statement, saying it will use machine learning and human review to censor any mention of the possible whistleblower's name, according to CNN.

After BuzzFeed reported on attempts to spread the alleged whistleblower's name earlier this week, Facebook reportedly confirmed that it'll be removing ads targeting the alleged whistleblower

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While Facebook and the Google-owned YouTube have committed to removing content mentioning Ciaramella's name, a Twitter spokesperson told CNN that mentioning the name on the platform would not violate its rules, The Verge reports.

A Fox News executive recently instructed its hosts not to identify the whistleblower by name as the network has not yet confirmed the name of the individual, according to the Washington Examiner.

Attorneys for the whistleblower said in a statement that “identifying any suspected name for the whistleblower will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm. We will not confirm or deny any name that is published or promoted by supporters of the president,” as reported by BuzzFeed.

“We will note, however, that publication or promotion of a name shows the desperation to deflect from the substance of the whistleblower complaint. It will not relieve the President of the need to address the substantive allegations, all of which have been substantially proven to be true,” the whistleblower's attorneys added.

INSTEAD OF CENSORSHIP: Our Free Speech Zone below is divided into Civil, Spirited and Extreme labels, so users can decide what they’re comfortable with seeing. 

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