Facebook said on Friday that it will remove content that purports to name the individual who made a whistleblower complaint that led to the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
In a statement to several news outlets and reporters, Facebook said that “any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant, or activist.’”
It added: “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.”
The whistleblower, who is said to be a U.S. intelligence official, complained about Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Republicans have called on the whistleblower to be identified, while some senators have suggested that the individual may have to testify.
The company’s statement followed the publication of an article from Breitbart News, which said it identified the whistleblower.
The news outlet said that Facebook users who were trying to view the report received a message that it wasn’t available.
Administrators of Breitbart’s Facebook page said they got notifications on Wednesday from Facebook, saying that the page is “at risk of being unpublished.”
“To be clear, Breitbart did not ‘out’ the alleged whistleblower but did provide additional relevant reporting about him; he is, after all, a public figure, having served on the National Security Council,” the report said.
President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday tweeted a link to a Breitbart story that had the name of the alleged whistleblower.
“We … now know the name of the whistleblower,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said earlier in the week, reported The Hill. “The whistleblower needs to come forward as a material witness.”
Trump over the weekend called on reporters to identify the whistleblower and said they would “be doing the public a service” if they unmasked the person.
“They know who it is. You know who it is. You just don’t want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don’t want to report it,” Trump said. “You know, you’d be doing the public a service if you did.”
The House passed a resolution last week to move forward on the inquiry on whether Trump tried to solicit help from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, along with Ukrainian company Burisma. Biden had sat on the board of the firm.