Facebook said that it will not allow its users to create new events close to the White House, the US Capitol, or any state capitol buildings until after President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration in an effort to prevent possible violence.
The social media giant’s decision was announced in a blog post on Friday, January 15.
“We’re monitoring for signals of violence or other threats both in Washington, D.C. and across all 50 states,” Facebook said in the blog post, adding that it has implemented a number of additional measures to prevent attempts to use the platform for violence ahead of Inauguration Day, including a temporary ban on political advertising.
Update: Through Inauguration Day, we're blocking the creation of new Facebook events happening in close proximity to DC and state capitols. And we're doing a secondary review of inauguration-related events and removing policy-violating ones. https://t.co/AV6z0gSTiu
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) January 15, 2021
The company stated that it is 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 is currently reviewing all existing events related to the inauguration and deleting ones that violate the platform’s guidelines. US events created by accounts or pages that are not based in the US are also blocked by Facebook as per its policies.
In an update on Saturday, January 16, the social network also announced it has prohibited advertisements about weapon accessories and protective equipment — such as gun safes, vests and gun holsters — in the US at least through January 22, “out of an abundance of caution.” Advertising weapons, ammunition and weapon enhancements like silencers have already been banned on the platform.
Last week, Airbnb said in a statement that it will not allow any bookings in the Washington, DC metro area during the week of Inauguration Day citing calls from DMV area leaders to stay away from the city due to security threats. The home-rental platform also promised to ban individuals involved in the January 6 Capitol attack and those with ties to hate groups from booking rooms on its platform.