Facebook (FB) and YouTube said Friday that they were removing content that mentioned the potential name of the whistleblower whose complaint sparked an impeachment probe into President Trump.
“Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant, or activist,’” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
The Facebook spokesperson 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.”
A YouTube spokesperson said videos mentioning the potential whistleblower’s name would also be removed. The spokesperson said the company would use a combination of machine learning and human review to scrub the content. The removals, the spokesperson added, would affect the titles and descriptions of videos as well as the video’s actual content.
Asked for comment on whether Twitter was taking similar action, a company spokesperson said simply tweeting the person’s name was not a violation of its rules.
Right-wing media has hyped a report from a website last week which claimed it had likely identified the possible whistleblower.
No mainstream news organization has identified the whistleblower. CNN has sent guidance to staff about not repeating any reporting that alleges the name and identity of the whistleblower.
The attorneys for the whistleblower have said that organizations that publish a potential name risk placing the person and their family “at risk of serious harm.”