News

#StopTheSteal: controversial pro-Trump group shut down by Facebook after rapidly amassing members

Facebook has removed the pro-Trump group, Stop The Steal, who were claiming that the Democrats were stealing the US election.

Surprise surprise, it turns out a group of Trump voters are reacting to a recent Facebook ban in the exact same way that Donald Trump is responding to the surge of votes for Joe Biden. The group, Stop The Steal, emerged following Trump’s claims of electoral fraud, and quickly began amassing large numbers. Yet, within a day, Facebook removed the right-wing group due to members calling for violence.

The move from Facebook is the latest in a slew of moderation attempts in the lead up to the US election, including their restriction of a recent article by the New York Post alleging corruption from Joe Biden due to concerns around its authenticity.

stop the steal trump us election
Image: Thought Catalog

Stop The Steal was taken down after amassing 350,000 members in under 24 hours and organising protest events in cities which have mostly since been taken down.

In a statement, Facebook claimed that the group was removed because it violated the site’s terms of use. The most popular posts within the group included calls to prayer for Trump, misinformation about the electoral count, and even summons for complete fucking civil war. Whoa, how good is democracy?

“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

The group was created by a non-for-profit conservative organisation called ‘Women For America First’ which is moderated by Amy Kremer, a longtime pro-Trump Tea Party activist, who says, “Democrats are scheming to disenfranchise and nullify Republican votes”.

After it was shut down by Facebook, Stop The Steal moderators asked members to provide email addresses to their website and help raise money for flights to cities where they intend to protest. They also took to Twitter with the hashtag #StopTheSteal, with Kremer claiming: “The left is trying to steal an election and Social media is complicit.”

This election, mail-in ballots helped Biden surpass Barack Obama’s popular vote record from 2008, and with the Democrat candidate now only six electoral votes from becoming the POTUS, members from the group made some pretty hectic calls, with one post reading: “How do we go about overthrowing the government?” 

I’m not sure but maybe we could give that a go here in Australia? Anyone?