The break followed warnings of a spike in accessories ads in the days following January 6 Capitol riot. The ads frequently appeared for people following far-right groups and pages, and often directly addressed the potential violence surrounding Biden’s inauguration.
Senators Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown and Tammy Duckworth accused Facebook of profiting from the chaos, while the attorneys general of Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, DC urged Facebook to freeze the ads.
The move comes hours after Facebook blocked events in the Washington area, and days after. forbids all mentions of the ‘stop the steal’ slogan used to rally unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The thinking seems to be the same: Facebook doesn’t want even the slightest implication of allowing violence during the week of the inauguration, although this is a largely symbolic gesture when extremists may already have the equipment they need.