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Facebook labels Minneapolis 'high-risk,' will remove posts that incite violence

Facebook will remove posts that call for weapons to be brought to Minneapolis and anything that celebrates George Floyd's death.

Facebook plans to limit posts that may incite violence in Minneapolis as the world waits to learn the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, labeling the city a "high-risk location."

In a website post on Monday, Monika Bickert, the vice president of content policy at Facebook, said "We are doing what we can to prepare for the verdict," including "Preventing online content from being linked to offline harm."

"Our teams are working around the clock to look for potential threats both on and off of Facebook and Instagram so we can protect peaceful protests and limit content that could lead to civil unrest or violence," Bickert writes. "This includes identifying and removing calls to bring arms to areas in Minneapolis, which we have temporarily deemed to be a high-risk location."

Facebook says it will continue to monitor how things are going to "determine if additional locations will be deemed as temporary, high-risk locations."

The social media site says it will remove content that violates its community standards, like Facebook's policies against hate speech, bullying and harassment, graphic violence and violence and incitement. 

It is also working to "Protect the memory of George Floyd" and members of his family from harassment and abuse, with Bikcert saying Facebook will remove content that "praises, celebrates or mocks George Floyd's death."

Closing arguments are wrapping up on Monday afternoon before the case goes to the jury, which will be sequestered while it deliberates. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's May 25, 2020, death. 

Law enforcement officials have been preparing to respond to civil unrest amid the trial after last summer's protests turned violent. 

The announcement comes a day after Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters was criticized by Republicans for comments she made during a visit to Brooklyn Center at the weekend, when she responded when asked by reporters what people should do in the event of a not guilty verdict.

"Well, we’ve got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business."

For more on Facebook's policies, click here

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