Facebook shuts down 'Stop the Steal' group over its 'delegitimization of the election process'

Stop the steal.
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Facebook has shut down a large pro-Trump group that had become a hotbed for conspiracy theories related to Democrats supposedly trying to steal the election.

The group, called "Stop the Steal," had gained 360,000 members within its first two days of existing, at one point adding new members at a rate of 1,000 every 10 seconds, Reuters reports. Many of the posts on the page promoted debunked or blatantly false claims and misinformation, including that Sharpies supposedly invalidated certain ballots (they didn't), or demanding an entirely new election. "Among the group's administrators were two Breitbart alumni recently hit with warrants in a bust over a half-baked border wall scheme that led to criminal charges against former Trump advisor Steve Bannon," added The Daily Beast. "And running a donation-seeking website associated with the Facebook page was the president of a conservative web services company, who previously registered the website 'transracialism.com' and at least one other domain name related to election uncertainty."

Several states have seen angry Trump supporters swarm vote-counting sites, leading to serious safety concerns for election workers. And President Trump has personally attempted to stoke doubts about the integrity of the election in tweets that have been quickly labeled or censored by Twitter for containing misinformation. Facebook traditionally has been more hesitant to make its own such crackdowns, but in a statement released shortly after banning Stop the Steal, a spokesperson said: "In line with the exceptional measures that we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the Group 'Stop the Steal,' which was creating real-world events. The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group."

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