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Facebook, Twitter and more crack down on violent rhetoric, election misinformation

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This illustration photo shows a mobile phone placed on an American flag with tweets from President Donald Trump masked with warnings imposed by Twitter stating that they may be incorrect, November 5, 2020, as presidential election vote counting continues.

Since Election Day, Twitter has put about a third of President Donald Trump’s tweets behind a fact-check label. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

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Social media platforms have been stepping up their moderating operations amid election-related misinformation.

Facebook just banned a group called “Stop the Steal” formed to organize protests against Democrats “stealing the election,” an assertion based on no evidence.

Marketplace’s Nova Safo has more. The following is an edited transcript of his conversation with “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio.

Nova Safo: That group was rapidly gaining followers, more than 350,000 over the last day or so, before it was shut down. Facebook says it saw worrying calls for election-related violence from some of the group’s members. It also banned the “Stop the Steal” hashtag, and its limiting the spread of certain posts that its algorithms determine contain political misinformation.

This is not nothing, David.

It goes almost directly against Facebook’s business model. It and other platforms are in the business of disseminating information, keeping people scrolling through posts as long as possible and selling ads around all of that.

Policing content has become the central issue of a heated debate in Congress over regulating social media, and now we’re seeing those companies responding with more force.

David Brancaccio: What about the other social media platforms beyond Facebook?

Safo: They’re taking action as well. Twitter suspended Steve Bannon’s account after he posted a video calling for violence against FBI director Christopher Wray and Anthony Fauci.

Since Election Day, Twitter has put about a third of President Donald Trump’s tweets behind a fact-check label, and Snapchat also took down a video from Trump’s account that used a Joe Biden interview out of context to back up unsubstantiated voter fraud claims.

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