YouTube said Tuesday that it suspended President Donald Trump’s channel over concern about “ongoing potential for violence,” in the latest move by one of the large tech companies to limit the president online.
In a tweet on YouTube’s official account, the Google-owned video site said it had suspended Trump’s account after one of his recent videos violated its policy banning content that spreads misinformation about widespread election fraud. YouTube said he cannot upload new content to his channel, which had about 2.8 million subscribers, for at least seven days. YouTube also said it was disabling comments on his video indefinitely.
It was not immediately known which video triggered the suspension of his account.
Many tech companies have moved to curtail Trump online since a violent mob of his supporters, urged on by the president, stormed the Capitol last week. In the aftermath, Facebook suspended the president from its core social network as well as Instagram at least until the end of his term. Twitter followed by permanently barring Trump’s account on its service, depriving him of his favourite social media platform where he had 88 million followers. Other sites, such as Snapchat, Reddit and Twitch, also curtailed Trump.
The moves have won praise from liberals and others, who said the actions were long overdue because Trump had used social media to spread falsehoods and incite violence. But critics have said the wholesale clampdown raises questions about how much power the tech companies have over online discourse.
The big tech companies have also pulled support from other sites that have hosted right-wing content. On Monday, Parler, a social networking site that had become popular among Trump supporters for its loose prohibitions on speech, went dark after Amazon pulled its computing services for it. Apple and Google had earlier removed Parler from their app stores. Parler has said it is searching for a way to come back online.
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