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Facebook promises to hide whistleblower's name after showing it to everyone

10 November 2019

"We ... now know the name of the whistleblower", Sen.

Breitbart has joined several conservative news outlets in attempting to spread the name of the whistleblower after becoming the first media outlet to releasing the individual's alleged name.

So far, President Donald Trump has avoided identifying the whistleblower by name. Conservative commentator Candace Owens, for example, twice posted tweets that purported to name and show images of the whistleblower.

In response to a request for comment from The Washington Post, Owens called the whistleblower "a treasonous spy with deep ties to the Democrats". Exposing whistleblowers can be dicey, even for a president.

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The tech giants' decisions come as Washington is gripped by impeachment drama, sparked by allegations that President Trump sought to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to launch investigations into Joe Biden - a rival in the upcoming presidential election - and his son, Hunter.

The whistleblower, a USA intelligence official who complained about Trump's July 25 telephone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has in recent days become a target of attacks by Trump, his allies in Congress and the conservative media, who have pushed for the person to be publicly identified.

The Associated Press typically does not reveal the identity of whistleblowers. Conversely, a Twitter spokesperson told CNN that tweeting the name didn't violate its rules. However, the company said it was also removing identifying posts on the whistleblower from Breitbart. That category does include such details as a person's address, contact information or medical records.

The whistleblower, a United States intelligence official who complained about Trump's July 25 telephone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has in recent days become a target of attacks by Trump, his allies in Congress and the conservative media, who have pushed for the person to be publicly identified. But, she added, there could be other possible legal recourse. For one thing, doing so could be a violation of federal law.

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Facebook says it is removing "any and all mention of the potential whistleblower's name" from its platform.

However, on Twitter the name was circulating widely on Friday.

The news outlet said that Facebook users who were trying to view the report received a message that it wasn't available.

"This is particularly significant in this case where I have made it clear time and time again that reporting any suspected name for the whistleblower will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm", said the attorney, Andrew Bakaj, on Wednesday.

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Facebook promises to hide whistleblower's name after showing it to everyone