Pro-Trump operatives coordinated viral #StopTheSteal events. Facebook shut them down.

In 2019, a group of right-wing political operatives promoted a fundraising website to build a section of border wall, and the site later became the subject of a money-laundering investigation. Now those same operatives are behind a Facebook group dedicated to delegitimizing election results that don’t favor President Trump, which went viral Thursday.

On Thursday afternoon, Facebook took down the page, called “Stop The Steal.”

As members of the group repeatedly called for violence and a civil war, leading to turmoil inside Facebook, the group expanded at a rapid pace Thursday morning, topping out at about 350,000 profiles. The group pointed users to organized events, including one in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Thursday afternoon with a “#StopTheSteal” branding.

Facebook initially barred the group from appearing in searches involving the election, and even direct searches for “stop the steal,” but members of pro-Trump Facebook groups, as well as other social media networks

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