The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other US security agencies secretly control American social media giants, the foreign ministry of Russia has alleged. The high-level official cited, along with an anecdote, a recent interview by Mark Zuckerberg, in which the Facebook CEO supposedly acknowledged this influence.
Spokesperson of the foreign ministry of Russia Maria Zakharova published a post on her Telegram channel today, devoted to Zuckerberg’s recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Podcast. Facebook’s first-in-command recounted how FBI operatives had visited the Russian official ahead of the 2020 US presidential election, which ended in victory for Joe Biden, asking him to suppress stories revolving around the "unseemly contents" of Hunter Biden’s laptop on his platforms, the diplomat recalls. "The men in black convinced Mark Zuckerberg… that these were all Russian fakes," Zakharova said, referring to the podcast.
What the Facebook founder told Joe Rogan
Zuckerberg’s three-hour interview touched on a variety of subjects as he touted the potential of Metaverse, discussed his favourite hobbies, weighed in on Hunter Biden’s laptop and revealed he doesn’t have time for social media sites despite having founded one of the world’s largest.
Zuckerberg criticised Twitter’s prohibition of sharing a story about President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, saying Facebook "took a different path".
— Sirf News (@SirfNewsIndia) November 4, 2020
Republicans are demanding that Zuckerberg be called to Congress to testify over his revelations on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
The Facebook and Meta founder’s remark that a policy of "decreased distribution" was enacted in connection to a story by The New York Post stemming from Hunter Biden’s laptop in late 2020 was at the centre of the GOP outrage.
Zuckerberg said during the podcast that the FBI had reached out to Facebook, warning it of "Russian propaganda". Zuckerberg criticised Twitter’s prohibition of sharing a story about President Joe Biden’s son Hunter – saying his own social network "took a different path". Rogan asked Zuckerberg about the attention Twitter received ahead of the 2020 election for banning the sharing of a story by The New York Post about the contents of the future president’s son’s laptop. "We took a different path than Twitter," Zuckerberg said. The Facebook founder said that the FBI approached Facebook’s team and said it should be on high alert about Russian propaganda in the election.
Of course, the Facebook founder called the US federal agency "Trump's FBI".
What Russia figured out from the podcast
Russian diplomat Zakharova said that this kind of "excuse for censorship" was sufficient to have made Facebook’s CEO comply with the request. The subsequent suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story "helped pronounce Biden senior as the winner in the election," Zakharova noted, remarking that many Americans are still unconvinced.
Above: Spokesperson of the foreign ministry of Russia Maria Zakharova
The diplomat went on to argue that, with the laptop story turning out to be true and with Zuckerberg’s revelations to Rogan, "The world has learned that the US social media played a decisive role in this performance." She says that the suspension of then-President Trump’s accounts by the main social media platforms just shows that the US authorities collude with the "internet monopolies".
Zakharova inferred that all this established a fact that the "FBI and other American security services manually control digital giants", with social media platforms' leadership only too happy to "participate in dirty political games in Washington". Zakharova claimed, "There are no democratic standards in the American electoral system: neither in theory nor in practice."