Allum Bokhari – 5 Nov 2020
Facebook has censored Stop the Steal, a rapidly growing Facebook page set up by Trump voters organizing in-person rallies at voting locations to demand integrity in the ballot counting process.
The page was set up only recently, and quickly grew to over 300,000 members in the space of 24 hours, as voter concerns about irregular activities at voting locations in key swing states escalated. Stop the Steal is also organizing through its own website.
In October, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donated over $100 million to a “safe elections” project run by former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.
But now, it seems ordinary Republican voters are not allowed to use his platform to organize in defense of election integrity.
The mainstream media ran several articles about Stop the Steal, attacking its members as purveyors of “misinformation” and criticizing Facebook for not censoring the page quickly enough.
One journalist even claimed, bizarrely, that allowing Republican voters to use Facebook to organize rallies in defense of fair elections would somehow lead to violence.
“Facebook is, once again, doing an absolutely atrocious job at curtailing election-related disinformation and violent rhetoric,” said Rolling Stone reporter EJ Dickson on Twitter
“Its history of being reactive rather than proactive may very well result in the platform having blood on its hands.”
Facebook is, once again, doing an absolutely atrocious job at curtailing election-related disinformation and violent rhetoric. Its history of being reactive rather than proactive may very well result in the platform having blood on its hands. https://t.co/1CapFBFY7A
— Ej Dickson (@ejdickson) November 5, 2020
The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British-based NGO that pressures social media companies to censor conservatives, also demanded that Facebook take the page down.
.@Facebook is hosting a “Stop the Steal” group run by figures close to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon.
It is calling on 300,000 members to protest at vote counts and contains calls for violence.
It has to be shut down. pic.twitter.com/on308Xvze4
— Center for Countering Digital Hate (@CCDHate) November 5, 2020
In a comment to the media, a Facebook spokesman accused the group of trying to “delegitimize” the election process, and said some members of the group “called for violence,” without citing any explaining why the page was being held collectively responsible for the posts of such individuals.
“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,” said the Facebook representative.
“The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His new book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election, which contains exclusive interviews with sources inside Google, Facebook, and other tech companies, is currently available for purchase.