President Trump’s allies have turned to Facebook and other social-media sites in an effort to spark nationwide protests against the 2020 election, thrusting some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful organizing tools into a contest over the legitimacy of American democracy.Follow the latest on Election 2020
The campaign and its aides have relied on a network of new and existing Facebook pages, groups and events — some of which have garnered hundreds of thousands of members — to rally people in public this week around a baseless conspiracy theory that Democratic candidate Joe Biden is attempting to “steal” the election. Some of the efforts promoted in places like Pennsylvania and Arizona specifically target vote-counting centers, threatening disruptions while ballot tallying is still underway.
The online efforts have unfolded not on the Republican Party’s fringes but well within its mainstream. Among the most vocal leaders is Amy Kremer, a former congressional candidate in Georgia and a co-founder and co-chair of Women for Trump. She used a Facebook page called Women for America First, which boasts more than 100,000 followers, to drive users to a newly launched Facebook group called “STOP THE STEAL,” which garnered more than 360,000 members before Facebook removed it midday Thursday for violating the platform’s rules.