Facebook Blocks Creation of New Events Near Capitols Through Inauguration Day

January 16, 2021 Updated: January 16, 2021

Facebook is blocking the creation of new events near the U.S. Capitol and the White House through Inauguration Day.

Events taking place near state capitols are also being blocked.

“We are blocking the creation of any new Facebook events happening in close proximity to locations including the White House, the U.S. Capitol building, and any of the state capitol buildings through Inauguration Day,” Facebook vice presidents Guy Rosen and Monika Bickert said in a blog post.

“Our operations center is also conducting a secondary review of all Facebook events related to the inauguration and removing ones that violate our policies. And, as we did in the lead up to and following the U.S. presidential election, we are continuing to block event creation in the U.S. by non-U.S. based accounts and Pages,” they added.

In addition, the technology company is restricting some features for people based on “signals” such as repeat policy violations. Restrictions include not allowing some accounts to create live videos or an event.

The new measures come as Facebook says it is monitoring for signs of violence or other threats across the nation leading up to Inauguration Day.

President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 20.

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters clash with law enforcement officers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Facebook announced Monday it would remove any content containing the phrase “stop the steal,” a reference to the belief that the 2020 election was stolen. Facebook removed the original Stop the Steal group in November 2020 and has been removing pages, groups, and events that violate policies since then. Facebook also suspended President Donald Trump’s account indefinitely, claiming it violated policies.

“We are also connecting people with reliable information and high-quality news about the inauguration and the transition process. After the inauguration, our label on posts that attempt to delegitimize the election results will reflect that Joe Biden is the sitting president. Our Voting Information Center will stay active on Facebook and Instagram through the inauguration so it can continue to help people find reliable information and updates about the electoral process,” Facebook said.

U.S. agencies are deploying thousands of troops and officers to Washington to prepare for any violence that occurs on Jan. 20 or in the days leading up to the swearing-in. Up to 25,000 National Guard troops will be in Washington, the Army said Friday.

While agencies are seeing “extensive” online chatter, there’s no “specific, credible threats,” according to Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Officials say they’re trying to prevent a repeat of what happened on Jan. 6, when protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol during a rally for Trump.

Dozens of people have been arrested for allegedly committing crimes that day. Five people died, including a protester who was shot while trying to enter the Speaker’s Lobby and a U.S. Capitol Police officer who suffered mortal wounds while responding to the breach.

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