Facebook to Remove Content That Mentions "Stop the Steal"

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Facebook is banning the phrase “stop the steal” ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20, 2021. In light of the pro-Trump protests in Washington, D.C., Facebook believes the phrase could incite further violence.

“Stop the Steal” Gets Banished From Facebook

Facebook is barring the term “stop the steal” in order to diminish the risk of violence on Inauguration Day. “Stop the steal” is the phrase used by many Trump supporters who question the integrity of the US presidential election.

A post on the About Facebook blog revealed its new policy on the controversial phrase, noting that it plans on “removing content containing the phrase” across both Facebook and Instagram. Facebook justified the mass removal of the phrase, stating:

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.

In November 2020, Facebook removed a massive Stop the Steal group, which had over 300,000 members. Although Facebook’s move to erase an entire phrase will take a lot more work, it says that it has “already removed a significant number of posts” containing the term.

Facebook Prepares for Inauguration Day

Facebook prepared months in advance for the 2020 US presidential election, and now it has to prepare for Inauguration Day. The platform has already banned President Trump’s account indefinitely, and will likely continue to make changes up until President-elect Joe Biden assumes office.

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