An official FBI Twitter account has expressed “regret” after it posted a link to the bureau’s documents on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The link, shared automatically from the FBI Records Vault Twitter handle on Wednesday, contained copies of the notorious forged antisemitic tract purporting to describe a Jewish plot to achieve world domination, as well as additional material about it, including letters to former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
The account, which counts 80.4K followers, regularly publishes declassified archival files in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
The accompanying tweet, which simply read “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, did not offer any contextual information, sparking criticism among online users and thousands of retweets and comments.
A statement published by the account on Wednesday read: “Earlier today FOIA materials were posted to the FBI’s Vault and FOIA Twitter account via an automated process without further outlining the context of the documents.
“We regret that this release may have inadvertently caused distress among the communities we serve.”
The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement on Wednesday that while “there is no reason to think that the FBI shared this material out of malice or due to antisemitic animus, it is concerning that the FBI’s twitter account did not clarify in the tweet that the digitised file was of historical interest, and released the file without any additional context or description of this work as virulently antisemitic.”
The organisation said it received reports from many in the American Jewish community “who are hurt by the irresponsible way this document was released.”