Facebook said it would remove the name of a whistleblower identified by conservatives as triggering an impeachment investigation into President Trump’s actions, foreign media reported. The company said Friday that potential whistleblowers violated Facebook’s “co-ordinated harm policy,” which prohibits the posting of material that identifies witnesses, informants or activists.
Facebook said it would remove the name of the whistleblower and reconsider the decision if it was widely reported in the media or used by public figures in the debate.
On Twitter, however, the name of the alleged whistleblower went viral on Friday, and the company did not do the same as Facebook.
It is understood that part of the report confirming the identity of the whistleblower came from the conservative news site Breitbart, which Facebook listed as one of its news partners in a new news section on its app.
It is understood that the U.S. whistleblower law is designed to protect the identity and career of whistleblowers, when they are accused of misconduct by government officials. Lawmakers from both parties have long supported these protections.
So far, U.S. President Donald Trump has not disclosed the name of the whistleblower, because even for the president, it can be risky to release the identity of the whistleblower. First, doing so may violate federal law. Second, while the chances of Mr. Trump facing charges are slim, the disclosure of the whistleblower’s name could only give Democrats more material to impeach Mr. Trump, and could trigger a backlash from some Senate Republicans who have long defended whistleblowers.