Top line

Facebook will begin removing “stop the steal” content, the company announced on Monday as tech companies continue unprecedented crackdown on conspiracy theories that fueled the riot at the Capitol last week.

Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman of Facebook, speaks on the second day of the 56th Munich Security … [+] Conference.

Photo by Tobias Hase / Bildallianz via Getty Images

Key factors

Facebook said it would remove Stop the Steal content as it “continues to try to organize events against the result of the US presidential election that can lead to violence, and the term is used by those who participated in the violence on Wednesday DC are involved “.

Stop the Steal has become a collective rally for Trump supporters who believe the president’s false claim that the election was stolen from him because of widespread election fraud.

Facebook’s move comes when the FBI warned Monday that armed protests are planned across the country leading to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Facebook had already suspended Trump’s account indefinitely last week, removing the original #StopTheSteal group within days of the election. However, enforcement was difficult as BuzzFeed News discovered that several Stop the Steal groups were still operating as of Friday last week.

Although some accused Facebook of empowering the rioters, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the violent protests on Friday were largely organized on other platforms.

Key background

Almost every major tech company is cracking down on President Donald Trump, who spent months promoting Stop the Steal conspiracy theories after the election after rioters stormed the Capitol last week. Twitter has blocked its account altogether, along with a number of others who promote QAnon content. Apple, Google and Amazon have stopped providing services for the right-wing social network Parler. However, the swift action is met with skepticism that technology companies have too much control over political language.