Facebook bans all 'stop the steal' content

Haley Messenger

Facebook said Monday that it will begin removing any content that includes the phrase "stop the steal" from its platforms, expanding its efforts to limit the spread of election misinformation.

The company two months ago removed the original group of the same name, which fueled voter fraud misinformation after the election.

The move is part of the company's protective efforts against violence and misinformation in the lead-up to the presidential inauguration after last week's events on Capitol Hill, Guy Rosen, the company's vice president of integrity, and Monika Bickert, its vice president of global policy management, wrote in a company blog post.

"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," they wrote.

"We are now removing content containing the phrase 'stop the steal' under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram," they said.

The company indefinitely banned President Donald Trump from posting on its platforms four days ago.

"In this moment, the risk to our democracy was too big that we felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban, and I'm glad we did," Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in an interview Monday.

Sandberg said the company has "no plans" to lift the ban.

Facebook also announced that it will continue its pause on all ads in the U.S. about politics or elections, a policy that has been in effect since November.