Biden Inauguration: Facebook Bans Creation of Events Near White House, U.S. Capitol

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Facebook will not allow users to create new events happening near the White House, the U.S. Capitol building, and state capitol buildings leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

The social media giant’s latest move builds upon its earlier announced preparations for Biden’s inauguration that seek to prevent the platform from being utilized to organize a violent event similar to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

“We are blocking the creation of any new Facebook events happening in close proximity to locations including the White House, the US Capitol building, and any of the state capitol buildings through Inauguration Day,” the company said in a blog post on Friday.

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Facebook suspends political advertising as part of preparations for the inauguration

Facebook said among the “additional measures” put up by the tech giant include “our ongoing pause on political advertising.” Facebook said it is ”promoting accurate information about the election and the violence at the Capitol instead of content that our systems predict may be less accurate, delegitimizes the election or portrays the rioters as victims.”

It is also conducting a “secondary review” of all inauguration-related events and will ban those that violate the platform’s rules. 

“We are also restricting some features for people in the US based on signals such as repeat violations of our policies. These restrictions include blocking these accounts from creating live videos or creating an event, Group or Page,” the social media giant said.

The social media giant is also continuing a policy that blocks pages and accounts based outside the United States from creating events located in the country.

That policy was first laid out by Facebook during the 2020 US presidential election.

Social media giant removing content with the ‘stop the steal’ phrase

Facebook earlier this week announced it would delete content containing the phrase “stop the steal” from its platforms under its Coordinating Harm policy.

In November, the social media giant removed a “Stop the Steal” group from its services and banned different related groups and pages.

“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 US presidential election that can lead to violence, and [the] use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in DC, we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration. It may take some time to scale up our enforcement of this new step but we have already removed a significant number of posts,” according to the social media giant.

Last week, it suspended outgoing President Donald Trump’s account until at least the remainder of his term due to concern that he might post messages that could incite violence among his die-hard supporters.

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