As part of their preparations ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week, social media giant Facebook is taking additional steps "to stop misinformation and content that could incite further violence during these next few weeks."
According to a release, Facebook will start removing content containing the phrase “stop the steal” from Facebook and Instagram, a common rallying cry among supporters of President Donald Trump attempting to subvert the results of the presidential election.
"We’ve been allowing robust conversations related to the election outcome and that will continue," the company said in a statement. "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."
Last week, Facebook took action to ban President Trump from its platform "indefinitely," with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that the risk of allowing Trump to use the platform is too great following the president’s incitement of a pro-Trump mob that caused a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
"Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech," Zuckerberg wrote last week. "But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government."
In Monday's statement, the social media giant announced that in addition to Trump's suspension, the company will also be maintaining its pause on allowing any political ads on the platform.
"We are also connecting people with reliable information and high-quality news about the inauguration and the transition process," the company stated. "After the inauguration, our label on posts that attempt to delegitimize the election results will reflect that Joe Biden is the sitting president. Our Voting Information Center will stay active on Facebook and Instagram through the inauguration so it can continue to help people find reliable information and updates about the electoral process."
"We will stay vigilant to additional threats and take further action if necessary to keep people safe and informed," the statement concluded.