Facebook bars content claiming to name Trump impeachment whistleblower

The Facebook logo is seen Jan. 17 2017

Facebook said Friday that it will remove mentions that name the whistleblower who filed a complaint over President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine, triggering the current impeachment inquiry.

"Any mention of the potential whistleblower's name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant or activist, '" Facebook told Breitbart and Reuters in a statement.

A YouTube spokesperson said videos mentioning the potential name would also be removed, reports CNN Business.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has been removing content that allegedly features the name of the whistleblower. The president responded in a news conference Friday by suggesting the person should be tried for treason.

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

Some of the stories identifying the person came from the conservative news site Breitbart, which Facebook counts as one of its news partners in a newly launched news section on its app.

"Per our private information policy, any Tweets that include personally identifiable information about any individual, including the alleged whistleblower, would be in violation of the Twitter Rules", said company spokeswoman Katie Rosborough. Facebook says it has been applying it to the whistleblower case and removing the person's name for a few days.

But Rosborough said the Owens tweet and others did not violate that policy because the tweets did not share the supposed whistleblower's home addresses, contact information or financial details.

That person's identity was not disclosed by intelligence officials because of federal laws created to detect whistleblowers from retaliation. Lawmakers in both parties have historically backed those protections.

President Donald Trump has pushed for the release of the whistleblower's name, but USA officials and many media outlets have refrained from printing it.

Her language echoed that of the president, who has said that whoever passed information to the whistleblower was "close to a spy". The whistleblower's name has been kept confidential by USA officials, in line with federal law created to prevent retaliation.

President Trump and several fellow Republicans have recently stepped up calls for the whistleblower's identity to be revealed in public, over objections from the whistleblower's attorneys, who claim the publicity would risk their client's safety.

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