According to the New York Times and BuzzFeed News, there has been an increase in worrying activity on Facebook during the U.S. presidential election. In a BuzzFeed News report, the company said it had noticed an increase in the frequency of keywords associated with “violent and inflammatory trends” based on a post viewed on Facebook’s internal information board.
Facebook has not commented on the violence found on the platform, but Facebook spokesman Liz Bourgeois told BuzzFeed News that facebook is on high alert to detect content that could incite violence.
In a statement to The Verge and othermedia, Facebook said it did see an increase in mis-information during the election. “As the votes continue, we will see more inaccurate reports of election claims,” the statement read. While many of these claims are less engaged on our platform, we are taking other ad hoc steps (which we have discussed earlier) to prevent the content from spreading to more people.”
According to reports, Facebook has developed and used specialized tools to address the spread of election mis-information in “high-risk” countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Facebook has launched stop the Steal, a 300,000-member group that organized an opportunity earlier Thursday to challenge the election results.
“Democrats are conspiring to disenfranchize Republicans and invalidate their votes,” the group said. It’s up to us, the American people, to fight and stop it.” The group’s executives and page owners include Amy Kremer, a senior Tea Party activist, and her daughter Kylie, as well as Jennifer Lawrence and Dustin Stockton, two members of the We Build The Wall group. In August, federal agents raided the two groups as part of a fraud investigation.
Facebook said pro-Trump activists posted a violent post calling for the deployment of personnel under military orders to protect the fairness of the election. Biden supporters carried signs that read “Every vote counts” and a full count of the remaining battleground states would show that Biden had received the 270 electoral votes needed to win.