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YouTube bans Trump; removes video content

NEW DELHI: YouTube joined other social media giants Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in suspending US President Donald Trump from uploading new videos to his official account for at least a week.

YouTube has cited “concerns his (Trump’s) posts will incite violence” as the reason for suspending his account.

The suspension came a week after the president’s supporters attacked the US Capitol trying to stall the Congress certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s election win.

YouTube confirmed the seven-day ban in a series of tweets. It said, “After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies. It now has its 1st strike & is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a *minimum* of 7 days.”

YouTube has also disabled comments on Trump’s channel given the threats of violence. It added that it has done the same for other channels where there are safety concerns.

YouTube also confirmed that it has removed a video of Trump’s Tuesday morning press conference.

Facebook and Instagram have banned Trump for two weeks, at least till the transition of power is done. Twitter has suspended his account permanently.

Facebook suspended Trump’s accounts after the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6.

On January 7, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a detailed post announcing the indefinite ban on Trump’s accounts and that the risk of allowing him to continue were “simply too great”. He said it was clear that Trump was trying to “undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.”  

Facebook had removed the President’s statement and video, where he had not condemned the actions of his supporters, but instead talked about a stolen election and mandate.

Twitter had at first suspended Trump’s (@realDonaldTrump) account, which has nearly 88 million followers. It later “permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

In a blog post, Twitter said it was forced to act after “the horrific events” of the week, referring to the US Capitol attack. The President has enjoyed a lot of support on the platform, and often used it to make most of his key announcements.

Twitter specifically pointed out one tweet for the suspension. “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”, the tweet read.

Twitter also took into account the President’s tweet saying he would not go to the inauguration on January 20 for president-elect Biden.

Other platforms which have banned Trump include Snapchat, Twitch and Reddit. Snapchat had stopped promoting all Trump content in its Discover feed back in June, 2020. After the violence at Capitol Hill, it indefinitely suspended the US president’s account. Snapchat had cited the reason for suspension was the “possible spread of hate speech and threats of violence.”

Reddit had banned the r/The_Donald, a Pro-trump thread and other pro-Trump pages in June 2020, for “harassment and targeting”. After the January 6 violence, it banned another sub-reddit, r/DonaldTrump, which had conspiracy theorists posting about a stolen election and asked users to go to the US Capitol.

Video service Twitch also disabled Trump’s channel indefinitely. It earlier banned Trump in June which was extended indefinitely after January 6.

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