Facebook won’t let people create events that take place “in close proximity” to the White House, the US Capitol building, or any state capitol buildings through Inauguration Day, the company announced on Friday. The move builds upon Facebook’s previously announced Inauguration Day preparations aiming to prevent the platform from being used to organize a violent event like the January 6th attack on the US Capitol.
Facebook is also doing a “secondary review” of all inauguration-related events and will remove those that violate the platform’s rules. The company is also continuing a policy that blocks pages and accounts based outside the US from creating events located in the US. That policy was first put in place for the US presidential election.
The company has come under scrutiny for allowing posts promoting and organizing the January 6th riots to spread across Facebook and Instagram, and for ads promoting military equipment that ran alongside content that contained election misinformation and calls for violence, according to BuzzFeed News. Although Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said she believes the riots were “were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate,” the company is still stepping up enforcement of its policies and working to remove potentially dangerous content ahead of Inauguration Day.
Accounts that have repeatedly violated Facebook’s policies could be restricted. Those restrictions may include being blocked from creating live videos, events, groups, or pages, according to the company.
Facebook isn’t the only platform trying to prevent Inauguration Day gatherings. Airbnb is blocking and canceling all DC metro area reservations during inauguration week and is banning people who were involved in the January 6th riots.
In the days since that attack, many platforms have taken actions to try and prevent people from organizing another one. Facebook, for example, is now blocking the phrase “stop the steal.” Apple and Google have banned conservative-friendly social app Parler from their app stores, and Amazon has terminated Parler’s hosting, effectively kicking it off the internet.
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