Facebook Inc. announced on Monday that it is taking down content on its platforms that contain the phrase “Stop the Steal” in the wake of the violent rioting by a pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol last week.
“We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram,” the company said in a blog post on Monday. The move, the company noted in the message, comes two months after it removed a group called "Stop the Steal" that had gathered a following of over 300,000 members and would spread misinformation about the election.
“We’ve been 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 in the post Monday.
“It may take some time to scale up our enforcement of this new step but we have already removed a significant number of posts,” it continued.
The company said its team will be working around the clock to enforce its policies around the coming inauguration of President-elect Biden.
“We will keep our Integrity Operations Center operating at least through January 22 to monitor and respond to threats in real time. We already had it active ahead of Georgia’s runoff elections and Congress’s counting of the Electoral College votes in the US presidential election. We extended it due to the violence at the Capitol last week,” the company added.
The company also said it will continue its pause on ads in the U.S. pertaining to politics or the elections in the meantime. “This means that we aren’t allowing any ads from politicians, including President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE,” it stated.
The moves follow the company’s recent decision to suspend President Trump’s account following posts he made about the riot about the Capitol last week, in which he urged his supporters to go home but also repeated false claims alleging voter fraud.
CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Webb: Big Tech won't change; the tech sector can Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Democrats press FTC to resolve data privacy 'crisis' MORE said on Thursday that the suspension will be extended until Biden’s inauguration.
“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Zuckerberg said at the time.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
Facebook is one of a number of tech companies that have placed restrictions on Trump’s accounts or blocked some of his content in recent days following the rioting at the Capitol by supporters of the president opposing the November election results.
Twitter also suspended Trump’s account last week after posts he made about the riot and joined Facebook and YouTube in removing video of remarks he gave addressing the events, at the time pointing to company policy regarding disputed election claims and violence.