Facebook Providing User Data Related to Capitol Riot to Gov’t: Forbes

Facebook is cooperating with the federal government, and giving information on those who reportedly engaged in the Capitol Hill riot.

“Despite attempts to play down the use of Facebook amongst Capitol Hill rioters, the social media giant is furnishing the feds with data on users who took part in the siege, including their private messages, after calls from lawmakers to do so,” Forbes reported Jan. 21. The FBI sought information on New York resident Christopher M. Kelly, including: “private messages, as well as his linked IP address, phone number and Gmail address,” Forbes explained. Kelly had reportedly been seen at the Capitol riot.

A great deal of Kelly’s information was allegedly exposed: “The IP log history provided by the social media giant was useful, too, showing IP address locations indicating he had traveled from New York to Silver Spring, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., on January 6.”

In short, Facebook can track user location data via a variety of ways and collected information that the government later used to track Kelly’s whereabouts throughout Jan. 6. Forbes contributor Zak Doffman wrote a piece, “Facebook ‘Secretly’ Tracks Your iPhone Location—This Is How To Stop It,” alleging:

“[I]n your iPhone’s ‘Location Services’ settings, under ‘Privacy,’ you can select to ‘never’ allow Facebook access to your location. This shuts down the Facebook app’s access to the location derived from the iPhone itself when using the app or in background. But Facebook still uses this hidden EXIF workaround and it’s your data that is being taken, with most of you not realising it’s being done.”

“The confirmation comes after Senator Mark Warren called on social media companies to store posts from those who were at the January 6 mob attack, so law enforcement could study them before they were deleted,” Forbes reported in a Jan. 19 article. The same article added: “Facebook said that it has received valid requests from law enforcement and is in contact with both federal and local agencies regarding their investigations.” Forbes also added that multiple charges have been “filed by the DOJ against rioters that indicate the world’s biggest social network was a platform for organizing Stop the Steal. That it’s proactively working with police also shows that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is aware of that fact.”

As of the writing of this article, Facebook has not yet responded to inquiry into whether it voluntarily gave users’ private information or was compelled to do so by subpoena. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that Big Tech provide transparency. Facebook needs to design an open system so that it can be held to account, while giving weight to privacy concerns. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.

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