- Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he views the FBI as a "very legitimate institution."
- He told Joe Rogan that the FBI advised him to be on guard for polarizing content around the 2020 election.
- Far-right GOP members have called for the FBI to be defunded after it raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago home for classified documents.
Facebook, now Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he thinks the FBI is a "very legitimate institution" amid far-right GOP figures calling for the agency to be defunded following its raid of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.
During a 3-hour segment on podcaster Joe Rogan's program, Rogan asked Zuckerberg how his company handles content that has heavy news attention, such as the controversial late 2020 New York Post story involving the laptop of now-President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and if Facebook "censored that as well."
Zuckerberg said the FBI had already approached his company, warning them to be on the look-out for polarizing content, just as Russian propaganda made the platform its home around the 2016 US presidential election.
"We just kind of thought, 'Hey look, if the FBI — which I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, it's very professional law enforcement — they come to us and tell us we need to be on guard about something, then I'm going to take that seriously," Zuckerberg told Rogan.
Zuckerberg said it took a different approach than Twitter and did not outright prohibit users from sharing the NY Post story. It still allowed Facebook users to share it, but the story showed up less in people's NewsFeed, meaning it got less traffic.
"'We have it on notice that there is about to be some kind of dump that's similar to that, so be vigilant,'" the FBI told Facebook, according to Zuckerberg, who noted that he couldn't recall if they warned him about the NY Post story specifically.
The NY Post story published just a few months before the divisive 2020 US Presidential Election and became a favorite talking point for conservatives who allege major internet companies discriminate against them.
Twitter banned the URL of the story from its site, a move that then-CEO Jack Dorsey said was "wrong."
The FBI obtained a federal search warrant for Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month to determine if he had mishandled classified government documents. The New York Times reported Monday that the government has retrieved 300 documents bearing Trump's markings since he left office in January 2021, including ones that the FBI seized.
Pro-Trump figures like Georgie Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar advocated for the FBI to be defunded, in contrast to conservatives' longtime efforts to push back on leftists' plans to defund the police.