Facebook to ban “stop the steal” content ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration

Facebook to ban "stop the steal" content ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration
Image source: ©puple_queue via canva.com

Facebook will ban “stop the steal” content ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Facebook previously disallowed a “Stop the Steal” group from its platform in November and has deleted various other related groups and pages since then. However, the company said it was implementing this measure following the riots at the U.S. Capitol last week.

“With continued attempts to organize events against the outcome of the U.S. presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in D.C., we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Moreover, the company said it will consider the next two weeks as a major civic event and prevent any misinformation or content that could lead to further violence.

The social media giant added it plans to livestream the inauguration in the Facebook News portion of its app and website. It will also label posts that aim to delegitimize the election that officially recognizes Biden as the sitting U.S. president.

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The company said that political ads are still on a pause in the U.S.

The statement comes after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg earlier on Monday said that what happened at the US Capitol had not “largely” been held on the social media company’s services. Last week, Facebook banned Trump from posting for at least the remainder of his term.

Trump’s supporters rallied at statehouses across the U.S. to protest against the counting of Electoral College votes.

For months, the outgoing Republican president falsely claimed that there was election fraud. Trump supporters stormed statehouses in Georgia, Washington, Ohio, Michigan, California, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and other states.

Trump urged Capitol Hill protesters to “go home” through a video on Twitter. However, he did not address demonstrations at state buildings. Still, he repeatedly claims the election was stolen from him.

Banned on social media

According to Twitter, it removed three tweets from Trump for “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” and said the president’s account would be permanently locked if the tweets were not removed.

The social media company continued: “Future violations of the Twitter Rules… will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account”. Trump’s account now states that those tweets are “no longer available because [they] violated” Twitter’s rules.

Twitter explained: We have been significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labelled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence”.

Facebook and Instagram also banned Trump from posting for 24 hours while YouTube removed the video where he told protesters “I love you” and called people attacking the Capitol complex as “patriots”.

YouTube said the video was removed because it “violated policies on spreading election fraud”.

“The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules,” Facebook stated.

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