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Facebook purging any content containing phrase ‘stop the steal’

Facebook announced Monday that it will now remove any content from its platform that includes the phrase “stop the steal” as part of its enhanced enforcement following last week’s siege on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

What are the details?

“We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram,” the company declared in a statement. “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.”

The social media platform, founded by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, went on to explain:

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. It may take some time to scale up our enforcement of this new step but we have already moved a significant number of posts.

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Facebook’s latest measure is part of an ongoing, coordinated crackdown by major social media outlets against President Donald Trump and his assertions that the presidential election was stolen for President-elect Joe Biden.

Following the storming of the Capitol after a massive rally hosted by Trump, the president was banned for life from Twitter and suspended indefinitely from Facebook, Instagram, and other online platforms amid accusations that he incited the violence that left six of his supporters — including a Capitol Police officer — dead.

What about Twitter?

Also on Monday, Twitter announced “some of the steps” the company had taken since last week “to protect the conversation” following the attack that occurred last Wednesday.

“Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon,” Twitter said in a statement. “Many of the individuals impacted by this updated enforcement action held multiple accounts, driving up the total numbers of accounts impacted.”

Twitter explained further:

Since Friday, more than 70,000 accounts have been suspended as a result of our efforts, with many instances of a single individual operating numerous accounts. These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service.

As countless conservative Twitter users complained over the weekend that they were losing a significant amount of followers, Twitter had put out a statement saying that “in order to prevent spam, we regularly challenge accounts to confirm details like email and phone number. Until that info is confirmed, these accounts aren’t included in follower counts.”

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