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Facebook bans the phrase 'stop the steal' in response to US Capitol riots

Facebook logo on a Pixel 4 XL
Facebook logo on a Pixel 4 XL (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Facebook has banned the phrase "Stop the Steal" from being used on its sites.
  • The decision comes as the social media continues to moderate users on its site following the events at the U.S. Capitol.
  • Facebook highlights its efforts to connect users with reliable information regarding the election.

Facebook on Monday announced that it's banning the phrase "Stop the Steal" from being used in content on its social media platforms, including Instagram. According to a blog post by the VP of Integrity, Guy Rose, and the VP Global Policy Management, Monika Bickert, the move continues Facebook's string of policy changes that have been implemented since violence broke out at the U.S. Capitol last week.

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 the 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.

The company highlights its efforts to mitigate election misinformation, noting that it's keeping its Integrity Operations Center open through the inauguration to continue to monitor and respond to threats in real-time. Facebook News team is working to curate accurate and reliable news pieces to reflect the results of the election, which was officially certified on January 7th.

We are also connecting people with reliable information and high-quality news about the inauguration and the transition process....During inauguration week, we will add a news digest to Facebook News as a curated place for people to find reliable news about the inauguration.

It also notes that in addition to removing the Stop the Steal group and any similar groups, Facebook is pausing any and all election or politics-related ads from appearing on its platform.

The decision by social media sites to ban Donald Trump has been met by many with concerns over censorship, with some thinking social media platforms are overstepping, while others think that these sites have not done enough. The divisive move is just another reason users have begun to flee the platform, which includes one of the best messaging apps on Android, due to its policies. Facebook maintains that it is only focused on keeping its members safe and informed.

Derrek Lee
Derrek Lee

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

  • Just as well: it wasn't stopped. 😬
  • It's weird, I remember back in 2016 when The Democrats lost the electoral college despite winning the popular vote and everywhere you turned you got Trump supporters saying things like "stop whining, if we'd lost we'd do it gracefully!". And then they lose... And they show their true hypocritical, lying and literally treasonous colours. It turns out you really were dealing with a "basket of deplorables" after all.
  • Yeah you compare one incident by a relatively small handful of idiots with riots everywhere from the left at Trump rallies and after the election, 4 years of trying to undo the results, Antifa rioting in Portland and attacking the courthouse, the left occupying a small district in Seattle, and all the "peaceful protesting" with riots, theft, and destruction of business and property, many of them minority owned. :rolleyes; All that while the MSM became a propaganda organ for the DNC, distorting everything and making mountains out of molehills, including things they have Obama a pass for. Why does the former merit a conservative lockdown while Twitter, FB and others allowed the latter to go unchecked for 4 years? Why does Twitter promote the account for Ayatollah Khomeini, supreme ruler of Iran who oppresses his people, has a terrible human rights record, and wants to obliterate Israel of the map (genocide)? It's time to you take a look at who is really deplorable, chief. I get it. Its ok because the left hates Trump. Dems do no evil. Everything they do is ok. Orange man bad so anything goes to get rid of him. :rolleyes: Thing is, the issue is much bigger than Trump. If the tech and media companies don't like what YOU say or believe, you can be easily be squelched. It could be YOU next. If some lowly reviewer has a burr on their butt that day and misinterprets what you say, they can block you. Try to appeal it (big joke) avs they say they don't have he resources to review it. This is a VERY slippery slope and why the 1A was created to begin with: to prohibit censorship. It's sad that many in government and elites support it (Michelle Obama is a prominent example for those they disagree with). Funny thing is they'd be outraged if it happened to them. If you think Trump was bad, wait until you see the new Amerika. The Dems and Big Tech just showed us their vision, and it looks more like bondage than freedom. I'm expecting this to be censored, btw.
  • You understand that Trump lies, right? You know, blatant lies. Like, propaganda. You understand the election wasn't stolen, right? You understand Trump is actually considering pardoning himself? You understand if Trump is allowed to run again, he'll fracture your party and Harris will succeed Biden, right? I can't believe I'm saying this, but you should listen to Mitch McConnell.
  • Get will know soon enough. So hang tight and get the pop corn.
  • Finally. It is a shame it had to cost lives, and not only the symbolism of an attack against the democratic legislative branch by coercion from the executive branch, for people to see the madness that has been enabled during these past 4 years. Now everyone is ashamed and abhorred. Did someone expect something different than what happened? It is time for fanatics to stop and see the big picture. It is time from true American patriots to say "this is not right and we took it to the extreme". The world is watching!
  • Joe Biden won the election fair and square. The Electoral College supported his win. Congress has certified the election. He deserves to serve his term. We should all give him our best wishes in confronting the enormous problems facing the country today. There will be another election in 4 years.
  • They started banning phrases now?! How is this any different than the Chinese government banning images of Winnie The Pooh or memes with Xi Jinping looking like him? The fact that companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Apple and others, seem to be taking their cues from authoritarians and oppressors should be terrifying. As terrifying as when Trump is doing it...or anyone else for that matter. If people still can't see how dangerous this is and still think that Big Tech is on our side or doing the right thing...then we really are in trouble and entering the twilight of our civilization where freedom of speech will end up being a distant memory. This is what the "king" of Twitter, Jack Dorsey said in ironic and now in hindsight hypocritical: “Twitter stands for freedom of expression. We stand for speaking truth to power. And we stand for empowering dialogue." Indeed...
  • Really they're just acting like any other business. If you start trying to incite a riot in a bar or shop, you're going to be asked to leave. Why would Facebook or Twitter be different?
  • Except Facebook Twitter and the rest are not a shop and a bar. And they stopped being social media platforms and "just businesses" a while ago. Just think how many people get their curated selection of news from their Facebook and Twitter feeds. These companies are actively involved in what can and cannot be said. Yes there is a differcence between for example saying that a movie theatre is flammable and actually yelling fire in a movie theatre. But this isn't that. These Big Tech companies are making editorial decisions about content and behaving like publishers. So they shouldn't be able to hide behind those rules and regulations that basically give them immunity as to their behaviour. Ideally they'd be held accountable like most media outlets and publications. This is about freedom of speech and censorship and allowing these companies to basically lord over us. This is very dangerous and if you cannot recognize that, then there isn't much else I can say to you and I wish you good luck. I just hope we don't all collectively end up paying the price for our ignorance and failure to act. We ignore these warnings at our peril.
  • You're right, this isn't that. This is trying to rally people to go and set fire to all the movie theatres. I agree knee jerk reactions should be avoided, that's how terrible laws like the patriot act happen. But this isn't that. This is an attempt to avoid an unjust coup or a civil war.
  • Oh you mean set fire to the theatres like BLM and Antifa did, and all the business they destroyed, looted, all the neighbourhoods and communities they desolated... especially those they claim to speak for and support? That kind? You mean all the people they killed, robed and raped...great job...they are soo much better than those idiots who attacked the Capitol... but yeah keep telling yourself that.
  • The difference is that one is about poking fun at a ruler, and the other is about people plotting to overturn a legitimate election.
  • This is not about Trump and his supporters or that mindless mob that attacked the Capitol. It's bigger than is about what happens when during tumultuous times we make rash decisions and don't think of the aftermath. And making fun or a ruler?! Seriously? Do you live in the same world and reality? Why don't you travel to China and try to "make fun of the ruler"...and see what the consequences will be, especially when Twitter, Facebook or Google voluntarily hand over your personal information and data to the Chinese government...
  • Of all the countless other violent riots coordinated on Facebook, this is where they decide to draw the line? 🤡 It's hysterical watching all the authoritarians on here cheering for censorship. Lenin was right about "useful idiots".
  • I wonder if useful idiots is also how Trump refers to his own zealots.
  • "Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
  • You should be ashamed.