On Monday, Facebook and Instagram said they will begin removing content from Facebook and Instagram that mentions a certain phrase – ‘Stop the Steal’ – used by Trump supporters who believe widespread fraud happened in the 2020 presidential election.
The social media giants believe this language could incite violence on Inauguration Day, particularly in the wake of the deadly violence that broke out last Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Facebook said in a blog post, “We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram.”
“We began preparing for Inauguration Day last year,” the company noted.
“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.”
Facebook shut down a “Stop the Steal” group on its platform in late November that had attracted over 364,000 members.
Facebook said, “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.”
The Big Tech company claimed 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,” the company said.
The company added, “It may take some time to scale up our enforcement of this new step but we have already removed a significant number of posts.”
Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, has stated that they have no plans to lift President Trump’s ban.
“In this moment, the risk to our democracy was too big that we felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban,” she said. “And I’m glad we did.”
President Trump has also been banned from SnapChat and Twitch.
Further, the e-commerce site Shopify has banned both President Trump’s campaign store and the store for the Trump Organization.
Payment processor Stripe has banned President Trump’s campaign from using it for donations.
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