Facebook removed a quickly growing “Stop the Steal” election group over “worrying calls for violence,” it said Thursday.
The group formed amid baseless claims that Democrats are trying to steal the 2020 election, and it called for “boots on the ground to protect the integrity of the vote,” according to Reuters. The rapidly-growing pro-Trump group had 1,000 new members every 10 seconds on Thursday, Reuters added.
In just one day the group amassed 365,000 members, and some were allegedly calling for violence.
“The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group,” a Facebook spokeswoman said according to Reuters.
Facebook’s decision didn’t appear to surprise the group, which had already taken steps in the event of a shutdown. “Stop the Steal” had its newest members fill out an email sign-up sheet that was meant to be used if “social media censors this group,” Reuters reported.
New statement from Facebook:
“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… organized around the delegitimization of the election process.” pic.twitter.com/VJvZbPBTjk
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 5, 2020
The Facebook spokeswoman noted that the social media company is taking “exceptional measures” lately because of “heightened tension.” The 2020 election has been wrought with accusations that Democrats are allowing for late ballots to be counted, that Sharpies have deemed some ballots illegitimate and more.
Many of these accusations, such as the Sharpie claim, have been debunked, Yahoo reported. Other members called for a new election and a Facebook spokesperson said that the group “was creating real-world events,” Yahoo added. (RELATED: America Woke Up Wednesday Morning To Conspiracy Theories About ‘Vertical’ Vote Counts In Michigan, Wisconsin)
Election unrest is growing and Trump and others have also alleged that there is fraud being committed in multiple states. Many of Trump’s tweets regarding the election have been flagged by Twitter and now have a warning applied that reads: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”