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Facebook will remove the erroneous “Stop the Steal” information.

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.

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The rise and fall of the “ Stop the Steal ” Facebook group

Others have published articles on violence. A member of the Facebook group wrote on Wednesday: “It will take more than talk to solve. Under that post, another member responded with emoticons of explosions.

On Thursday morning, the growth of the Stop the Steal Facebook group exploded again, according to data from CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Facebook.

It was around this time that right-wing figures such as Jack Posobiec, a pro-Trump activist, and Amy Kremer, Ms Kremer’s mother and founder of a group called Women for Trump, began posting articles. on the Facebook group on Twitter. Ali Alexander, a political agent who previously called himself Ali Akbar, has also tweeted dozens of times about the Stop the Steal movement to his 140,000 Twitter followers.

Their posts, which have been shared thousands of times, were a rallying cry for people to join the Stop the Steal Facebook group and take action in local protests against electoral fraud.

“In just a few hours, more than 100,000 people joined the Women for America First, Stop the Steal Facebook group,” wrote Posobiec. In the comments below his post, many people applauded the popularity of the Facebook group.

The tweets helped send more people to Stop the Steal. Interactions with the Facebook group soared to 36 posts per minute Thursday morning, from about one post per minute, according to data from CrowdTangle.

Mr. Posobiec, Mr. Alexander and Amy Kremer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On Facebook, executives were told of the group’s existence by Facebook moderators as they began flagging posts for potential calls for violence and protests to disrupt the vote. The company has also received calls from journalists about the group and its explosive growth. By mid-morning, executives were discussing whether to remove Stop the Steal, said an employee involved in the talks who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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Thieves steal 6 million medical gloves from Florida supplier

A shipping container containing more than six million medical gloves was stolen from a supplier in Florida on Sunday night in a swift move that left three hospital systems grappling with the pandemic without some of the crucial equipment they expected.

The gloves, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, were delivered Friday evening to Medgluv, the supplier, at its office in Coral Springs, Fla., About 40 miles north of Miami. The gloves were 12 days late when delivered by the manufacturer to Malaysia, Medgluv vice president of sales and marketing Rick Grimes said on Tuesday.

“That’s why hospitals, for lack of a better term, were asking” for the gloves, he said.

The container was parked at the Medgluv loading dock on a chassis, Mr Grimes said, waiting to be unloaded next week. The trucking company had asked the owner of Medgluv if it could be delivered after the end of the working day, which was “a bit unusual”, he said, although the owner accepted delivery after the hours. normal hours because Medgluv has been waiting for the products for so long. .

Around 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, according to surveillance footage, a semi-truck stopped at the container with a white van.

People in the trucks hung the container on the truck “like it was any other kind of day,” Grimes said. “These guys were in no rush.”

They moved the container forward slightly and fumbled for a while with its doors, which had been opened but pushed against the dock so that the cargo could only be reached if the container was moved or the loading door of the building was open, Mr. Grimes said.

They closed the doors and left. Mr Grimes said the operation took them “less than six minutes”.

Mr. Grimes contacted the Coral Springs Police Department about the theft, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation about trademark concerns, if the stolen goods were exported.

At around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the police department told him the container was found “completely empty” in the Miami area, Mr. Grimes said. Police did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

As to who took the gloves, Mr. Grimes said, “that’s the million dollar question”.

He said he did not believe the operation was an “internal job” involving anyone within Medgluv, which has seven employees. Workers in the trucking and shipping industry would have known what was in the container, Grimes said, adding that the truck was “a very nice semi-truck”.

Competitors and other companies in the healthcare industry have contacted Grimes to inquire about the theft. “They were all shocked,” he said, noting that he told them, “If this happens to us, it can happen to anyone.”

Although Medgluv was frustrated with the loss, Mr Grimes, whose three sisters work in the healthcare industry, said he was saddened to have to call hospitals waiting for the gloves.

“It is heartbreaking to know that healthcare workers who do their best to take care of others” will be affected by the theft, he said.