Facebook is taking steps to avoid a repeat of what happened on Jan. 6.
When Donald Trump supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. for a mass gathering that eventually ended in the sacking of the U.S. Capitol, many of the groups that attended used social media platforms like Facebook and Parler to organize. Now, ahead of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, Facebook is pulling the plug on events.
“We are blocking the creation of any new Facebook events happening in close proximity to locations including the White House, the US Capitol building, and any of the state capitol buildings through Inauguration Day,” the social network wrote in a Friday update to its post covering Jan. 20 preparations.
The same note added that Facebook will also be reviewing any existing, previously created events “related to the inauguration.” Any events that are found to be in violation of Facebook’s revised policies will be removed.
Further, non-U.S. accounts and pages will continue to be barred from creating events inside the U.S., as was the case ahead of and after the 2020 election. Facebook also said that it’s “restricting some features for people in the US based on signals such as repeat violations of our policies,” but offers no details as to who, exactly, is affected.
Functionally though, accounts that are hit with these restrictions could be blocked from creating live videos, events, Facebook Groups, or pages.
The move comes in the midst of lingering outrage over the events of Jan. 6 and concerns about the ongoing potential for more violence. Airbnb has already disallowed reservations and canceled existing ones in D.C. ahead of the inauguration. Meanwhile, secure(-ish) messaging app Telegram said that it has blocked “dozens” of channels that are calling for violence.