Facebook Blacklists All Content Mentioning ‘Stop the Steal’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 29: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies via video conference during an Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing on "Online platforms and market power. Examining the dominance of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple" on Capitol Hill on July 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Graeme …
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Facebook has announced that it will remove all content that mentions “Stop the Steal,”  a phrase in reference to the 2020 U.S. presidential election that is popular among supporters of President Donald Trump.

On Monday, the social media company said it is removing “Stop the Steal” content from Facebook and Instagram, claiming that such language might incite violence on Inauguration Day, considering the riots that transpired last week on Capitol Hill.

“We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram,” said Facebook in a blog post.

“We began preparing for Inauguration Day last year. But our planning took on new urgency after last week’s violence in Washington, D.C., and we are treating the next two weeks as a major civic event,” the company added.

In November, Facebook shut down a group called “Stop the Steal,” which had garnered over 364,000 members.

“We removed the original Stop the Steal group in November and have continued to remove Pages, groups and events that violate any of our policies, including calls for violence,” said Facebook.

The company went on to claim that it is “allowing robust conversations related to the election outcome and that will continue.”

“But with continued attempts to organize events against the outcome of the US presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in DC, we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration,” continued Facebook.

“It may take some time to scale up our enforcement of this new step but we have already removed a significant number of posts,” the company added.

On January 7, Facebook and Instagram locked President Trump out of his accounts “indefinitely.” Twitter, on the other hand, permanently banned the president from its platform.

On Monday, an Idaho internet provider announced it is blocking Facebook and Twitter for its customers, stating that it does not condone big tech companies censoring users or “trying to exterminate the competition,” such as Parler.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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