Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted Thursday that his Meta platforms suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story in the final weeks before the 2020 presidential election after a visit from the FBI, retroactively saying now "it sucks" the story wound up being verifiable.
"The background here is the FBI basically came to us — some of the folks on our team —and said, 'Hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert: We thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election, we have it on notice that basically there's about to be some kind of dump that's similar to that, so just be vigilant," Zuckerberg told "The Joe Rogan Experience" in a podcast interview posted Thursday.
Zuckerberg noted Twitter fully blocked the Hunter Biden laptop story, while Facebook merely suppressed it from being spread widely.
"For the five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false, the distribution on Facebook was decreased," Zuckerberg told host Joe Rogan.
Rogan pressed Zuckerberg on just how much it was dialed down and Zuckerberg said "just a little bit less."
"Fewer people saw it than would have otherwise," Zuckerberg admitted, before upping his estimation from "a little bit less" to "but, it's meaningful."
"We thought, hey look, if the FBI — which I still view as a legitimate institution in this country; it's very professional law enforcement — if they come to us and tell us we need to be on guard about something, then I want to take that seriously," he added.
Zuckerberg was not sure if it was specifically the Hunter Biden laptop story, but he said, "it basically fit the pattern."
Rogan asked if Zuckerberg has regrets about suppressing a story during the presidential election's final days.
"Yeah, it sucks," Zuckerberg said. "It turned out after the fact, after the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false.
"I think it sucks, though, in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks."
Still, Zuckerberg defends Facebook's suppression of the story after the FBI's visit.
"I think the process was pretty reasonable," Zuckerberg maintained, admitting it was "a hyper-political issue."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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