Facebook on Monday announced plans to remove content focused on the “Stop the Steal” movement from its platform, as the social network prepares for a potentially contentious presidential inauguration on January 20.
The company said it plans to remove any posts, photos or videos containing the phrase “Stop the Steal,” a term commonly associated with Trump supporters attempting to delegitimize the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which was won by the president-elect Joseph R. Biden.
“We enabled robust conversations related to the election outcome and that will continue,” said Guy Rosen, vice president of Facebook’s Integrity division, responsible for overseeing and moderating problematic and harmful content. “But with the continued attempts to stage events against the outcome of the US presidential election that may lead to violence, and the use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in Washington, we are taking that extra step ahead of the inauguration. . “
The move, which comes just days after hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, goes beyond Facebook’s previous actions. Facebook deleted the official “Stop the Steal” Facebook group in November for inciting violence. The company said it is also proactively monitoring the platform for other types of harmful content.
Facebook also said it will include a new section in the Facebook News tab of its mobile app on inauguration day, providing users with up-to-date and reliable information on the day’s events in the nation’s capital. The company has refused to remove most types of disinformation from its network in the past, with Mark Zuckerberg saying he didn’t want Facebook to become “an arbiter of truth.”
And following last week’s storm in the capital, Facebook also confirmed on Monday that it plans to suspend all contributions to any political action committee at least until the first quarter of 2021, citing the need to review its policies. Other big tech companies, like Microsoft, Google and Airbnb, took similar action on Monday afternoon.