Stop the Steal supporters and protesters at rallies around the United States.

Stop the Steal

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Updated Nov 11, 2020 at 07:02AM EST by andcallmeshirley.

Added Nov 10, 2020 at 12:32PM EST by Zach.

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Overview

Stop the Steal is a conspiracy theory and movement in the U.S. promoted by supporters of Donald Trump in which followers believe there has been widespread electoral fraud or sabotage against the Republican party during the 2020 presidential election in order to help Joe Biden win. Despite evidence disproving many of these claims, supporters assert that Trump either won or has been robbed of the election due to vote-counting fraud they believe took place in several swing states, particularly those which took several days to count after Election Day. A decentralized network of groups began spreading the theory online, as well as hosting rallies in cities across America to protest the 2020 election results in early November 2020.

Background

The 2020 U.S. presidential election began on November 3rd and results initially showed a lead for Donald Trump. Within a couple of days, as mail-in and absentee ballots (heavily dominated by Democrats) were slowly counted, Trump’s lead dwindled, leading to the president himself and his supporters casting doubt over the integrity of the election. According to The Guardian,[1] the first “Stop the Steal” group on Facebook was created by pro-Trump organization "Women for America First" co-founder and Tea Party activist Amy Kremer, the group’s moderator, on November 4th. By November 5th, the group rapidly rose in popularity with more than 730,000 interactions, 350,000 followers and an estimated 1,000 new members every 10 seconds. Organizers also began creating events for rallies surrounding the movement which have since taken place in a number of cities around the country (shown below).



Developments

Online Reactions

On November 4th, 2020, Twitter[2] user ScottPresler tweeted one of the earliest known examples of a group organizing a protest of the election results, requesting people to bring “Stop The Steal” signs to the capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (seen below, left). The tweet received over 42,700 likes and 12,000 retweets in six days. On November 5th, Twitter[3] user stclairashley also tweeted about a Stop the Steal protest in Washington, D.C., receiving over 7,200 likes and 1,800 retweets in five days (seen below, right).


#ThePersistence @ScottPresler See you tomorrow, Harrisburg, PA: Capitol Building 12 p.m. Bring "Stop The Steal" signs & be prepared to stay as long as possible. Ashley StClair @stclairashley STOP THE STEAL PROTEST WASHINGTON DC 1PM RNC, 320 1st St., SE - Capitol South Metro stop

On November 5th, after the Facebook group had accumulated over 350,000 members, the social media company banned the group from its platform citing election misinformation and inciting violence, according to the Associated Press.[4] In response, several supporters of the movement claimed the platform was unfairly targeting them, such as Twitter[5] user ChrisRBarron, who tweeted that same day and tagged several high-ranking members of the movement, receiving over 16,7000 likes and 7,600 retweets in five days (shown below).


Chris Barron @ChrisRBarron BREAKING Steal Facebook group that had 365,000 members. Is this how social media treated Black Lives Matter protestors? @AmyKremer @KylieJaneKremer @WomenforTrump Facebook has shut down the Stop the

On November 6th, following Facebook’s banning of the original group, left-wing counter-protesters launched a fake group on the platform to dupe unsuspecting Stop the Steal supporters into joining them, and then switched the name of the group to “Gay Communists for Socialism.” That same day, Twitter[6] user MrTooDamnChris tweeted about the trolling, receiving over 117,500 likes and 17,800 retweets in four days (shown below).



On November 6th, The Sun uploaded a video to its YouTube[7] channel showing Alex Jones speaking to Stop the Steal supporters in Nevada during a rally, accumulating over 198,600 views, 5,700 likes and 4,300 comments in four days (seen below, left). On November 9th, CNN uploaded a clip to its YouTube[8] channel showing reporter Donie O'Sullivan at the Stop the Steal rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in which he asks several of them about why they believed the election was stolen. The video accumulated over 823,000 views, 11,000 likes, 2,100 dislikes and 15,000 comments in roughly 24 hours (seen below, right).



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