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Facebook bans ‘stop the steal’ content following US Capitol violence

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington....
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington. Far-right social media users for weeks openly hinted in widely shared posts that chaos would erupt at the U.S. Capitol while Congress convened to certify the election results.(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 3:51 PM MST
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(Gray News) - Social media giant Facebook has announced new restrictions on content following violent demonstrations among supporters of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol last week.

Facebook released a blog post authored by two company vice presidents stating it will remove content on Facebook and Instagram containing the phrase “stop the steal” under its Coordinating Harm policy.

“We’ve been allowing robust conversations related to the election outcome and that will continue,” the blog post said. “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.”

Company leaders announced Facebook has already removed numerous pages, groups and events. Facebook plans to increase enforcement of its new policy over time.

Facebook suspended President Donald Trump’s page indefinitely one day after the rally and protest. Twitter permanently suspended his account after initially issuing a temporary suspension.

Many Trump supporters have argued for Facebook and other social media platforms to not censor speech.

Trump has targeted social media companies with his efforts to repeal protections given to large websites which prevent people from suing companies over messages being hosted on the platforms.

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