Facebook tracked private conversations from voters dissatisfied with the 2020 presidential election and later gave the FBI access to this information.
Over the past 19 months, someone at Facebook detected these allegedly subversive private chats and forwarded them in redacted form to the FBI’s domestic terrorism operating unit in Washington, DC, without obtaining a subpoena.
However, nothing unlawful or violent was discovered when investigators from a nearby FBI field office looked into the targeted Facebook users, sometimes using covert surveillance methods.
One source aware with the subpoena requests made by FBI headquarters in Washington, DC during a 19-month rush to produce the caseload to match the Biden administration’s rhetoric on domestic terrorism following the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, said, “It was a waste of our time.”
A spokesperson for Facebook’s parent company, Meta, Erica Sackin, asserted that Facebook’s communications with the FBI were intended to shield users from harm in two divergent comments delivered an hour apart.
“These claims are false because they reflect a misunderstanding of how our systems protect people from harm and how we engage with law enforcement. We carefully scrutinize all government requests for user information to make sure they’re legally valid and narrowly tailored and we often push back. We respond to legal requests for information in accordance with applicable law and our terms and we provide notice to users whenever permitted.”
64 minutes later, Sackin released a second, spontaneously modified statement in which she changed the wording to reflect that the assertions are wrong rather than false.
The narrative continues the practice of the FBI and Facebook having one other’s phone numbers saved. Following Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s admission on a Joe Rogan Experience episode that Facebook had buried the Hunter Biden laptop story at the FBI’s request, Brittany Sheehan wrote here in September 2022 that Republican Congressional leaders had warned Zuckerberg and Facebook’s parent company Meta not to mention Hillary Clinton in their communications with the FBI regarding the same.