Meta (Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerburg claimed the platform censored the Hunter Biden laptop story after a warning from the FBI about an increase in “Russian Propaganda.”

Analyst Comment: Put yourself in the shoes of Facebook for a moment. The FBI alerts you to an increase in “Russian Propaganda” in the coming months. What exactly do you do with this information? You could simply ignore it or you could increase your content moderation/censorship practices to try to combat this increase in “propaganda.” There isn’t an effective course of action that doesn’t involve censorship: The im0plication being the FBI is committing first amendment censorship by proxy. This is a clever scheme for the government because the FBI can maintain plausible deniability: They didn’t explicitly ask Facebook to remove the Hunter Biden laptop story; they just fed a warning to a platform with an aggressive moderation policy right before they expected the story to come out. The result was the same as government-sponsored censorship.