After Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have also announced that they will not allow the revelation of the name of Donald Trump's alleged impeachement whistleblower who revealed the details of a transcript of his conversation with Ukraine President that led to the call for impeachment. The platforms have blocked users from spreading the name of a CIA officer who is addressed as the whistleblower. Yet Twitter said it will continue to allow such references, including posts that name the person conservative media say is the whistleblower and show pictures claiming to depict him as well. The move comes after the whistleblower's lawyers warned the platforms of not mentioning the name as publicizing a name puts that person and the person's family at risk.
Facebook and Youtube blocked references to the supposed whistleblower's name and images under the policy against "coordinating harm".
On Thursday, the lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to the White House asking Trump to stop calling out the whistleblower's name. The tactic is a "reckless and dangerous" form of intimidation, they mentioned in the letter. Yet it seemed that the Conservatives are up to doing just the opposite as they are surfacing the name growingly since Friday as Donald Trump Jr., the President's son tweeted out his name. Amongst them was Conservative commentator Candace Owens who twice posted tweets that purported to name and show images of the whistleblower. Though Owens's first tweet was deleted, the second tweet went viral with several likes, comments, and retweets. Responding to the issue, Owens called the whistleblower a treasonous spy with deep ties to the Democrats.
Owens reiterated the words of President Trump who called the whistleblower "close to a spy". The US President also inferred something really wild by saying that in the old days' people were brutal with spies and that now things are handled differently. It is the President's attitude and threatening language that has added fuel to an online crusade to unmask and intimidate officials who have raised alarms about Trump's dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. On the other hand, Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, said in an interview Friday that the individual's identity was not particularly relevant.
Responding to the buzz around Donald Trump Jr. and Owen's tweets, Twitter defended its decision to allow the sharing of the CIA officer's name, despite acknowledgment that such tweets might violate Twitter's policies. As per Twitter rules of private information policy, any Tweets that include personally identifiable information about any individual, including the alleged whistleblower, would be in violation. Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough argued that Owens tweet and others did not violate that policy because the tweets did not share the supposed whistleblower's home addresses, contact information or financial details. There is a permit for sharing information that is publicly available elsewhere, in a non-abusive manner. They allow name, birthdate or employment of a person, as well as descriptions of a person's physical appearance and gossip, rumors, accusations, and allegations.