Facebook and YouTube are removing all content from their platforms that mentions the anti-Trump whistleblower’s name, whom news outlets including RealClearInvestigations have publicly identified as CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella. No law bans media outlets or any person but the intelligence community inspector general from making the whistleblower’s name public.
A Facebook spokesperson said the platform will remove “any and all mention of the potential whistleblower’s name.
Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant, or activist.’ 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.
Facebook says it is removing "any and all mention of the potential whistleblower's name" from its platform. pic.twitter.com/yezibCohT7
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 8, 2019
According to CNN, a YouTube spokesperson said videos mentioning the whistleblower’s name will be removed. The removal of content will be applicable to not only titles and descriptions of the videos, but the videos’ content as well.
This decision comes after heated debate over the legality of private citizens and media members mentioning the alleged whistleblower’s name. For the record, it is perfectly legal to say or write the whistleblower’s name, unless you are the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG).
The federal whistleblower statute only requires the ICIG keep a whistleblower’s identity confidential, unless the ICIG determines the name necessary to disclose. No other government official or private citizen is required to protect the anonymity of a whistleblower. No such statute exists. So why the censorship on the whistleblower’s name?
Because disclosing the whistleblower’s name will likely lead to research that makes public what many on the right already know — the whistleblower blew his whistle based on a partisan agenda. As RealClear Investigations also reported, Ciaramella
…is a registered Democrat who worked with a Democratic National Committee opposition researcher who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Federal documents reveal that the whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, previously worked in the Obama administration with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan. RealClear reports that Ciaramella remained there into the Trump administration, and headed the Ukraine desk at the National Security Council, eventually transitioning into the West Wing, until June 2017.
The irony of this censorship debacle is that protecting so-called whistleblowers only seems to apply to those who help the mainstream media and Democratic agenda. This week, when ABC News was dealing with a whistleblower, her name was not forbidden on mainstream platforms like YouTube or Facebook. In fact, her name was released on YouTube, despite her claims that she is not the whistleblower who released audio showing how ABC suppressed reporting into alleged child rapist Jeffrey Epstein.
Not only are Facebook and YouTube’s standards a form of censorship, they are an example of partisanship on the largest social media platforms in the world.