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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday that it took down roughly 900,000 posts related to attempted drug sales or otherwise linked to drugs in the first quarter of 2019.

Why it matters: Some critics of Facebook and other social platforms say they haven't done enough to combat the opioid trade fueling a nationwide epidemic.

By the numbers: Facebook also said it removed around 603,000 posts in the last quarter of 2018 for violating its policies around content linked to drugs.

  • 83.3% of the posts in question were removed without being reported by a user — a relevant number as Facebook looks to prove its artificial intelligence-powered systems can help tame its sprawling platform.
  • This is the first time Facebook has released hard numbers on how many posts it removes because of violations of its policies for content linked to drug sales.
  • The data, which will be part of a report released later Thursday, does not include Instagram and WhatsApp.

The big picture: Lawmakers have put pressure on Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies because they say the firms haven't done enough to curb opioid sales.

  • The social giant rolled out a partnership this week with anti-addiction groups that focuses on combating the stigma around talking about opioid abuse.
  • A Capitol Hill event launching the program was attended by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has been a persistent critic of the company.

What they're saying: Manchin said after the event that he appreciated Facebook's efforts.

  • But he added that if the companies didn't continue to make changes to address the opioid crisis, he was still prepared to push for policy changes that could open up the platforms to legal liability for opioid-related content.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

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