Facebook Bans ‘Stop the Steal’

Posts on the page, which claimed the election is being stolen, talked about a pending civil war
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2020 6:55 PM CST
Facebook Bans ‘Stop the Steal’
Pro-Trump demonstrators rally Thursday outside City Hall in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Facebook on Thursday took down the page of a group that organizes protests claiming Democrats are stealing the presidential election, a forum that included posts calling for civil war. "Stop the Steal" had more than 360,000 members, the Washington Post reports. "The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process," a Facebook spokesman said, "and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group." Some members, expecting Facebook to act, had already moved their discussions to messaging apps, at least one of which often is used by militia groups kicked off Facebook. Pulling "Stop the Steal" was one of the site's strongest moves against users as protests of the election have been building, per the Wall Street Journal. The group's page was "creating real-world events," Facebook said.

A spokesman for Amy Kremer, a co-chair of Women for Trump and an organizer of the page, criticized Facebook. The group's rapid growth in its first 24 hours "spoke volumes about how concerned people are" about the election results, he said. The page asked for donations to send people to battleground states where votes are still being counted. "We need boots on the ground to protect the integrity of the vote," it said. One user posted that the nation is on the brink of a civil war. Another asked, "How do we go about overthrowing the government?" One of the answers was: "Civil war!" Minutes after the page went dark, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted, "Is this how social media treated Black Lives Matter protesters?" Twitter said it has taken down some tweets in violation of its rules around election interference and is monitoring the hashtag #StopTheSteal. (More Facebook stories.)

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