Geopolitics

Facebook bans large pro-Trump group “Stop the Steal” for inciting violence

Facebook today banned Stop the Steal, a large group of personalities close to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. The Facebook group organized protests against the president’s vote this Saturday in the United States. Some members called for violence, while others falsely claimed that Democrats were “stealing” the Republicans’ elections. It is not clear where the money for the group operations is coming from.

The Center for Combating Digital Hate posted a screenshot of a post in the now banned group that read, “Neither side will admit. Time to clean up guns, time to take to the streets.”

The Stop the Steal Facebook group contains several calls for violence against votes.

A recent post reads: “Time to clean your guns, time to take to the streets.”

Another says, “It’s time. We have to resort to violence when we have to.” pic.twitter.com/kaE2WYAmTk

– Center to Combat Digital Hate (@CCDHate) November 5, 2020

. @ Facebook is hosting a “Stop the Steal” group led by personalities close to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon.

It calls on 300,000 members to protest the number of votes and includes calls for violence.

It needs to shut down. pic.twitter.com/on308Xvze4

– Center to Combat Digital Hate (@CCDHate) November 5, 2020

Women for America First is listed as the owner of the Stop the Steal Facebook group.

The operator is Amy Kremer, the co-chair of Women for Trump, which calls itself “the official home for women who support Donald Trump”.

Kremer met with Trump personally. pic.twitter.com/WmbWEItovo

– Center to Combat Digital Hate (@CCDHate) November 5, 2020

From the Associated Press:

Though the group had more than 350,000 members before Facebook shut it down, it was only one of several smaller groups that emerged when the vote count was extended for days in several battlefield states. Within the groups, members and organizers tried to ensure that they bypass the moderators and “trolls” of Facebook who might report or mock them.

“In line with the extraordinary measures we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the ‘Stop the Steal’ group that spawned real events,” Facebook said in a statement. “The group was organized around the delegitimization of the electoral process and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.”

Facebook said it will continue to look out for activity that violates its rules and take action if it does. As of Thursday afternoon, a copycat group “Stop the Steal” grew steadily and approached 12,000 members. Others were easy to find on Facebook.

More at AP.

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