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Facebook still has hundreds of ‘Stop the Steal’ groups despite earlier crackdown

Facebook still has hundreds of ‘Stop the Steal’ groups despite earlier crackdown


The groups spread disinformation about the US presidential election

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Just a few weeks after Facebook removed a huge “Stop the Steal” group for spreading election disinformation, others have sprung up in its place and appear to be continuing the push to delegitimize the US presidential election.

OneZero discovered two large groups with a total of more than 100,000 members sharing disinformation that the election was “stolen” by Democrats. We were unable to verify those two groups, which may have since been removed by Facebook. But our own research confirms the broader point: as of Friday morning, hundreds of Stop the Steal groups — some private, some public, some hyperlocal — were alive and well on Facebook. While many of the groups were new and had a few hundred members each, some were sizable: one private group had more than 46,000 members; another, formerly titled “Keeping America Great!” had more than 265,000 members.

The Stop the Steal movement, reportedly backed by prominent conservative figures and organizations, supports President Trump’s false claims of election rigging by Democrats.

Earlier this month, Facebook removed a 300,000-member Stop the Steal group that was organizing rallies and raising money to challenge the results of the November 3rd presidential election, saying “the group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from members of the group.”

Once the groups were ejected from Facebook they began surfacing on other platforms, including Parler and Discord.

Facebook didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday.