Facebook bans ‘stop the steal’ posts ahead of inauguration

A "Stop the Steal" sign is help up during a rally in November in Atlanta.
A rally is held in November in Atlanta.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Facebook Inc. says it will remove posts that include the phrase “stop the steal” from its services, citing an “ongoing risk of violence associated with the term” after last week’s storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Facebook banned a “stop the steal” group from its service after November’s U.S. election, but the phrase has become a rallying cry for President Trump’s supporters who allege, without evidence, that President-elect Joe Biden and the Democrats stole the election. Facebook is blocking the phrase as part of enforcing its policy that forbids “coordinating harm.”

The move comes days after the company suspended Trump’s accounts on both Facebook and Instagram until at least the Jan. 20 inauguration. A spokesperson said it may “take some time” for the company to scale up its efforts to remove the phrase from Facebook’s properties, but that it has “already removed a significant number of posts” using the term.