Facebook is cracking down on the potential violence of President-elect Joe Biden’s January 20th inauguration to incite the future, including a broad temporary ban on phrases related to the January 6th mob attack on the Capitol.
Facebook vice presidents Guy Rosen and Monika Bickert detailed the policy in an article published on Monday, including any content that contains the words “stop the Steal.” This is an extremely radical policy, and it seems that it is still being promoted throughout the network.
The article read: “We will treat the next two weeks as a major citizenship event.” “We are now removing content from Facebook and Instagram that contains the word ‘stop the steal‘ in the content according to our coordinated harm policy… Continue to try to organize events against the outcome of the US presidential election, these events may lead to violent behavior, and the use of this term was used by those involved in the DC violence on Wednesday. We took this extra step before the inauguration.”
The post continued: “Expanding our implementation of this new step may take some time, but we have deleted a large number of posts.”
Confirmed that law enforcement is still uneven. The Verge can publish text containing the phrase “stop the steal” without deleting anything immediately.
Facebook will also retain many of its policies before the election, including automatically banning comments on any posts on group pages that “started with a high rate of hate speech.”
There are already signs that the days before the inauguration may lead to violence by President Trump’s supporters. The FBI warned that it plans to stage “armed protests” in all 50 state capitals and Washington, DC. During the inauguration, up to 15,000 National Guard troops will be deployed in Washington in the event of civil unrest.
Shortly after the Congressional attack, Facebook blocked a series of Trump posts before it suspended his account indefinitely. After taking these actions, the platform also took stricter measures to stop the theft of accounts, treating them as possible incitement to violence.
In an interview with Reuters this week, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg believed that Facebook’s aggressive layoffs largely forced violent organizations to withdraw from the platform.
Sandberg said: “We knocked down Canon again, the proud boy, to stop the steal, anything that we talked about the violence that could happen last week.” “I think these activities are large without us stopping the hatred. Organized on our standards and platforms without our transparency.”