Facebook has witnessed a meteoric rise in the spread of misinformation on its platform as crucial votes were being tallied to select the next US president, the media reported. According to BuzzFeed News, Facebook has been tracking a rise in "violence and incitement trends" associated with hashtags and keywords.
In a post to a group on Facebook's internal message board, one employee alerted their colleagues to a nearly 45 per cent increase in the metric, which assesses the potential for danger based on hashtags and searches terms, over the last five days.
"The ‘probable violence and incitement' metric for exploring has been slowly rising over the last few days," the post's author wrote.
The report came hours before the social networking giant banned a fast-growing group called "Stop the Steal". The group was formed by Republican supporters on Wednesday and "members used it to sow discord about the vote-totalling process, organize protests, and make threats".
The ‘Stop the Steal' group amassed more than 360,000 members in less than 48 hours before it was shut down by Facebook.
"In line with the exceptional measures that we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the Group ‘Stop the Steal' which was creating real-world events," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
"The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from members of the group."
The group also appeared to be linked to a group called Women for America First.