FBI agent says agency questions Facebook users 'every day, all day long'

 April 1, 2024

When the FBI came to an Oklahoma Muslim woman's house to question her about her pro-Palestinian Facebook posts, one agent revealed that the FBI was doing the same thing to other Americans "every day, all day long," according to a recent Reason report.

The woman, Rolla Abdeljawad, wouldn't let the agents into her home and contacted a lawyer for advice about the questioning.

Her lawyer, Hassan Shibly, posted a clip of the incident on X.

"We can't say what we want?"

"Facebook gave us a couple of screenshots of your account," one agent said to Abdeljawad.

She asked him, So we no longer live in a free country and we can’t say what we want?”

Another agent at the scene responded, “No, we totally do. That’s why we’re not here to arrest you or anything. We do this every day, all day long. It’s just an effort to keep everybody safe and make sure nobody has any ill will.”

Her lawyer at first thought that the attempt was a phishing scam, but Abdeljawad verified by checking the license plate that it was actually the FBI.

“The lawyer did inform me that, these instances are now common but, the lawyer doesn’t believe that FB sent them the screenshots of my posts. Rather, it seems like a fishing expedition,” she wrote on Facebook.

"Terrorist filth"

One of Abdeljawad's recent posts said, “Israhelli terrorist filth. They think Ramadan is a weakness for Muslims not, realizing Ramadan is the strength. #FreePalestine May Allah destroy every single despicable zionist, their supporters and backers. Ameen.”

Reason reported on Facebook's policy:

Meta’s official policy is to hand over Facebook data to U.S. law enforcement in response to a court order, a subpoena, a search warrant, or an emergency situation involving “imminent harm to a child or risk of death or serious physical injury to any person.” The company received 73,956 requests from U.S. law enforcement and handed over data 87.84 percent of the time in the first half of 2023, according to the Meta website.

Reason characterized the FBI activities as "interrogations."

The incident has led to backlash from free speech activists who decry governmental surveillance and reporting of social media posts.

Some fear the tactics can be used to clamp down on the free speech of people who espouse viewpoints they don't like under the guise of "hate" or misinformation.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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