Facebook announced this week that it will begin taking down all content that uses the phrase “Stop the Steal” in regard to the presidential election.
“We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram,” the company said in a statement, which comes two months after it removed a massive group called “Stop the Steal” that had gathered more than 300,000 members.
The company claimed misinformation about the election could incite violence, pointing to last Wednesday’s display at the U.S. Capitol building.
“We’ve been allowing robust conversations related to the election outcome and that will continue. But 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,” Facebook said.
The social media giant said it would take “some time to scale up our enforcement of this new step,” but added that it has already “removed a significant number of posts.”
Facebook analysts will continue working around the clock ahead of Inauguration Day, the company said.
“We will keep our Integrity Operations Center operating at least through January 22 to monitor and respond to threats in real time. We already had it active ahead of Georgia’s runoff elections and Congress’s counting of the Electoral College votes in the US presidential election. We extended it due to the violence at the Capitol last week,” the company added.
Facebook is also temporarily banning ads in the U.S. pertaining to politics or the elections.
Ads from all politicians, including President Trump, are no longer allowed, the company said.
This move follows Facebook’s recent decision to indefinitely suspend Trump’s Facebook account after the riot at a the Capitol.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the ban will last until Inauguration Day, and maybe even longer than that.
“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Zuckerberg claimed.