YouTube has removed new content from US President Donald Trump’s channel, citing concerns about the potential for violence in the wake of the riot on the U.S. Capitol last week.
Trump’s channel now has its first attack on it, preventing it from uploading new content for at least seven days, YouTube said in aTweeter, without providing details of the offending videos. The popular streaming site – owned by Alphabet Google Inc. – also said it was turning off comments on the channel indefinitely for security reasons. Other social media platforms, including Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc., have already taken steps to suspend the outgoing president, permanently in the case of Twitter and until Joe Biden’s inauguration for Facebook and Instagram.
Online platforms have struggled to balance a growing backlash against their sites in the wake of last week’s violence – which many believe was instigated and organized through social media posts – and opposition to criticism by free speech advocates of the imposition of censorship. Most recently Twitterbannedmore than 70,000 accounts it deemed dedicated to distributed QAnon conspiracy theories, while Facebook said it was blocking the ‘stop the steal’ chorus used by those who argue the November 2020 presidential election was illegitimate.
YouTube had been more hesitant to suspend Trump’s account than other social media services, citing a three-step policy to control content. The first warning limits news uploads for at least one week, while a second warning within 90 days of the first would result in a two-week suspension. With a third strike, Trump’s channel would be cut.
Following the YouTube announcement, Gab, a less restrictive social networking site popular with the far right, said he was working to save Trump’s videos and would post them on his own platform.
–With help from Nico Grant.
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