Photo by Brandi Lyon Photography via Shutterstock

Facebook says it will remove all content that mentions “stop the steal”, a slogan used by those who argue the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent due to eyewitness accounts and sworn affidavits, and subsequently stolen from President Trump.

“We are now removing content containing the phrase “stop the steal” under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram. We removed the original Stop the Steal group in November and have continued to remove Pages, groups and events that violate any of our policies, including calls for violence,” Facebook executive Guy Rosen said.

The decision comes following the recent attack at the Capitol, and in consideration of how divided the nation is leading up to Inauguration Day. 

“We began preparing for Inauguration Day last year. But our planning took on new urgency after last week’s violence in Washington, D.C., and we are treating the next two weeks as a major civic event. 

We’re taking additional steps and using the same teams and technologies we used during the general election to stop misinformation and content that could incite further violence during these next few weeks,” Guy Rosen said.

This is not the first time Facebook has removed material from its platform.

Recently, Facebook banned President Trump’s account indefinitely, claiming that the President violated their platform rules by encouraging the riots at the Capitol, which began due to outrage over voter fraud claims which were tossed out by courts. 

“…The current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

“We are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

In addition, Facebook removed a video message from President Trump’s page just prior to banning his account.

In the video message, which is still up on NBC Montana’s Facebook page, President Trump said, “…We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”

President Trump has frequently suggested that the election was fraudulent, or rigged against him. In the weeks preceding the election, the President expressed worry that election fraud would occur.

President Trump claimed that his political opponents took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to utilize mass mail-in ballots sent to all residents to their advantage. The President also claimed that there have been several votes that were counted for Joe Biden that came from non-registered voters, as well as alleged votes coming in from deceased people. 

President Trump also said big tech actively engaged in voter suppression and spread misinformation during the election to discourage pro-Trump supporters from voting.

Pro-Trump supporters have started to seek alternative social media platforms due to the recent actions taken by Facebook and Twitter.

“Gab, a more conservative-friendly alternative social media platform to Twitter, claimed Saturday it is gaining 10,000 users an hour in the wake of Twitter permanently suspending President Trump’s account,” Fox News reported.

 “Conservatives have long complained that big tech companies censor their viewpoints in favor of liberals, a sentiment that was accelerated by Trump’s suspension.”

“The Silicon Valley Exodus has begun,” Gab tweeted, but deleted it later.

President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. also expressed the sentiment that “Free Speech Is Under Attack”. Donald Jr. tweeted, “Censorship is happening like NEVER before!” and urged his followers, “Don’t let them silence us.”

Written ByLinn Win

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