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Facebook to remove content containing "stop the steal" messaging

Facebook
Posted at 1:49 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 17:06:38-05

Facebook announced Monday they would remove any content containing the phrase “stop the steal.” The removal applies to content on Facebook and Instagram.

In a news release, Facebook says they are treating the next two weeks “as a major civic event” and they are “taking additional steps” to “stop misinformation and content that could incite further violence.”

The move comes after violent pro-Trump rioters sieged the Capitol Building last Wednesday as Congress was gathered inside to formally count the Electoral College ballots that certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.

Supporters of President Trump have used the phrase “stop the steal” as a rallying cry and chant, after the president and his allies made repeated baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November election.

President Trump himself used the phrase as he was addressing a crowd of supporters shortly before Wednesday’s riot.

Facebook says they 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 social platform says they will continue to allow “robust conversations related to the election outcome,” however given the use of the phrase “stop the steal” by the rioters at the Capitol and the efforts currently underway to organize protests across the country in the next few weeks, Facebook will remove content containing that phrase.

Last week, Facebook announced they were suspending President Trump's account indefinitely, and at least through the Inauguration. They also announced Monday they are keeping a pause in place on all political or elections-related ads on their platform in the U.S.