Facebook to Remove Posts and Ads Revealing Name of Ukraine Whistleblower for Violating 'Coordinating Harm Policy'

Facebook announced Friday that they will be removing any post containing the name of the Ukraine whistleblower. They say that any post containing the name violates their "coordinating harm" policy, according to KFGO.

The ruling is in reaction to a publication of a Breitbart news article which claimed to identify the whistleblower's identity on the platform. When Breitbart's Facebook subscribers reported to site administrators that their attempts to read the article were dead-ended when they were served messages saying that the content was unavailable. This was followed by multiple notifications received by Breitbart's Facebook page administrators warning that their page on the social networking giant is "at risk of being unpublished."

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

"We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower's name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate."

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.

The whistleblower has been under fire after having listening in to President Trump's now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The president allegedly pressured Zelenskiy into providing information about Joe Biden and his son, Hunter's, business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company—including the accusation that Biden used his political influence to have an investigation into the squashed. Trump allegedly withheld financial aid from Ukraine until Zelenskiy would promise to investigate his claims. The whistleblower filed a complaint about the call, which has led into an impeachment inquiry for the president.

Facebook
Facebook and Youtube have banned use of the alleged Ukrainian whistleblower's name. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the alleged name of the whistleblower earlier this week. Multiple conservative media outlets have been trying to spread the name since, claiming they want the individual to face in-person questioning about their filing.

For news outlets, balancing the right to the whistleblower's continued privacy with citizen's rights to know the facts has been fraught; while some news outlets have refused to repeat his name, others—including Fox News and the Washington Examiner—have published it.

The whistleblower's attorney sent the White House a cease and desist letter demanding the president stop calling for the release of the whistleblower's name on Friday, as well as using threatening language in reaction to their existence. The president responded in a news conference Friday by suggesting the person should be tried for treason.

"The whistleblower is a disgrace to our country. A disgrace, and because of that, should be revealed," Trump said.

Youtube has also said they will remove any videos using the alleged whistleblower's name. A YouTube spokesperson told The Verge that this would affect titles, descriptions and actual video content. However, Twitter says mentioning the alleged whistleblower's name on that platform does not violate policy, according to The Verge.

Newsweek has not verified the identity of the whistleblower. It's not clear that the person named in any article claiming to have their identity is actually correct.

Facebook to Remove Posts and Ads Revealing Name of Ukraine Whistleblower for Violating 'Coordinating Harm Policy' | News