Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook and YouTube are blocking references to the alleged identity of the Ukraine whistleblower, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Donald Trump Jr. shared the whistleblower's supposed name on Twitter. President Trump has said the whistleblower's identity "must" be determined after details of their complaint have been examined in an impeachment inquiry.

  • Twitter said it would permit references to the whistleblower on its app, including in posts shared by Trump supporters that include the alleged name and photos.
  • The whistleblower's lawyers sent the White House a "cease and desist" letter this week over Trump's calls for the whistleblower's identity to be made public.

The big picture: Facebook's current political ad policy allows politicians to repeat false claims or misstate an opponent's record or their own. Facebook has already begin removing the whistleblower's name from posts "for a few days," AP reports, and will revisit its decision if the name surfaces in public debate or is circulated in the mainstream media.

Between the lines: Social media platforms are largely left to their own devices when it comes to creating rules on speech and content — allowing for gaps and inconsistencies as they build guidelines where federal and state parameters are lacking.

Go deeper: Facebook, Google weigh changing political ad policies under pressure

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.