Facebook shut down a network of Steve Bannon-linked pages for spreading election misinformation – but unlike Twitter, it hasn't banned Trump's former chief strategist

  • Facebook has deleted a network of pages with ties to President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon, The Washington Post reported Monday.
  • The accounts, with a total of 2.5 million followers, were spreading election misinformation.
  • Specifically, they were promoting the "Stop the Steal" campaign that is spreading baseless claims of voter fraud.
  • Liberal group Avaaz flagged the pages to Facebook Friday night, after noticing they shared content at exactly the same time and had common page administrators, often Bannon and his longtime ally Brian Kolfage.
  • Bannon was permanently banned from Twitter on November 6 for saying he would put the heads of Dr. Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray "on pikes" outside the White House. His account remains live on Facebook.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Facebook has deleted a network of pages with ties to President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon for spreading election misinformation, The Washington Post reported Monday.

In total, the network of seven pages had almost 2.5 million followers.

The seven pages promoted the "Stop the Steal" campaign that is spreading baseless claims of voter fraud. They included pages belonging to Conservative Values, We Build the Wall Inc., Citizens of the American Republic, American Joe, and Trump at War, as well as longtime Bannon ally Brian Kolfage.

Liberal group Avaaz flagged the pages to Facebook Friday night. Avaaz became suspicious after noticing that the pages appeared interconnected. They shared content at exactly the same time and had common page administrators, often Bannon and Kolfage, it told The Washington Post.

Some of the pages linked to Populist Press, a website affiliated with Bannon.

Facebook also froze some of the features on Bannon's account, including stopping him from posting content, the Post reported.

However, Facebook stopped short of banning Bannon from the platform — a move Twitter made on Friday after Bannon called for Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray's heads to be put "on pikes" outside the White House.

Read more: A Biden-Harris administration could mean a crackdown on the advertising and tech industries

"We've removed several clusters of activity for using inauthentic behavior tactics to artificially boost how many people saw their content," a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider.

"That includes a Group that was originally named 'Stop the Steal' which later became 'Gay Communists for Socialism' and misled people about its purpose using deceptive tactics," the spokesperson added.

On Thursday, Twitter permanently banned Bannon after he made the comments about Dr. Fauci and Wray on a podcast. A Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider Bannon's @WarRoomPandemic account had been permanently removed for violating Twitter rules against the glorification of violence.

YouTube and Facebook also removed videos of the podcast for inciting violence.

Later in the podcast, Bannon insisted his comments had been a metaphor.

Throughout the election period, Facebook has increasingly cracked down on the spread of misinformation on its platform.

On Thursday it shut down viral Facebook group "Stop the Steal" that spread conspiracy theories about voter fraud and included "worrying calls for violence." In just two days, the group had amassed 365,000 members.

In 2018, Bannon told Bloomberg, "The Democrats don't matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit."

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