Just days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Facebook announced on Friday that it is no longer allowing people to create new events near the White House, U.S. Capitol or any state capitol buildings until after Inauguration Day.
Facebook will also review all inauguration-related events and remove ones that violate site policies, and block events created in the U.S. by accounts and pages based outside of the U.S.
“We’re monitoring for signals of violence or other threats both in Washington, D.C. and across all 50 states,” Facebook said in a statement. “… as we did in the weeks after the presidential election, we are promoting accurate information about the election and the violence at the Capitol instead of content that our systems predict may be less accurate, delegitimizes the election or portrays the rioters as victims.”
Facebook also said it is continuing to pause political advertising and is restricting some features for users in the U.S. “who repeatedly violate policies.” Impacted individuals will not be able to create live videos or create events, groups, or pages.
Facebook made the announcement hours after CBS News learned that the Department of Homeland Security said that domestic extremists pose the highest threat to Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
DHS issued an intelligence briefing saying that some extremists believe Mr. Biden will not be a legitimate president. DHS also warned that there may be violence incited against federal buildings, law enforcement and public officials.
Social media sites have tightened their content moderation since the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol. Twitter has permanently banned the president, and Amazon kicked Parler off its web hosting services for failing to moderate content.
On Wednesday, Airbnb announced that all reservations in the Washington D.C. area next week have been canceled and no new reservations in the area will be allowed during that time. The decision, Airbnb said, is because of “various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C.” The hospitality site said it is also aware that armed militias and hate groups are planning to attend and disrupt Mr. Biden’s inauguration.
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