Facebook to remove ‘stop the steal’ content in lead-up to inauguration

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a ‘Conversation on Free Expression” in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty ImagesFacebook on Monday announced it will remove content containing the phrase “stop the steal” from its services in the lead-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.Facebook had previously removed a “Stop the Steal” group from its services in November and has removed various other related groups and pages since then, but the company said it was taking this additional step following the insurrection 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,” the company said in a blog post.Facebook said it plans to treat the next two weeks as a major civic event and stop any misinformation or content that could incite further violence.The company said it plans to livestream the inauguration in the Facebook News portion of its app and website. After the inauguration, it will place labels on posts attempting to delegitimize the election that say Biden is the sitting U.S. president.The company said it will also maintain its pause on political ads in the U.S.The announcements come after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg earlier on Monday said that the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol had not “largely” been organized on the social media company’s services. Last week, Facebook blocked Trump from posting for at least the remainder of his term.

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