- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Facebook announced Monday it was removing content posted on its platforms containing the phrase “stop the steal,” a rallying cry of people who deny President Trump lost his race for reelection.

The social media company explained it was taking down “stop the steal” content from both Facebook and Instagram after the slogan was used by Trump supporters who seized the U.S. Capitol last week.

“We’ve been allowing robust conversations related to the election outcome and that will continue. But with continued attempts to organize events against the outcome of the U.S. presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in D.C., we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration,” Facebook‘s vice president for integrity, Guy Rosen, and vice president for global policy management, Monika Bickert, said in a blog post explaining the decision.

Trump supporters adopted the phrase “stop the steal” following November’s election in light of the president falsely insisting he won the race but that his purported victory was somehow being “stolen.”

Facebook previously banned a group from its namesake social network called “Stop the Steal” that exploded in popularity in the days after the contest was called for President-elect Joseph R. Biden.

More than two months later, Mr. Trump said the phrase twice while speaking to supporters gathered near the White House on Wednesday during a speech that was followed by his fans storming the Capitol.

“Our country has had enough,” Mr. Trump said. “We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.”

Mr. Trump ended that speech over an hour later by telling supporters to march to the Capitol. Mobs stormed the building soon afterward during a deadly attack that sparked fresh calls for his removal.

Some of the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol held signs that said “stop the steal.” Some also chanted the slogan while they attempted to seize the compound.

Facebook indefinitely banned Mr. Trump after the insurrection. Twitter permanently suspended him, too.

The House of Representatives is set to vote Wednesday to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting an insurrection.

Mr. Biden is set to be sworn in on Jan. 20.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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