HONG KONG — YouTube has suspended U.S. President Donald Trump’s channel for at least a week amid concerns over “ongoing potential for violence,” making it the latest platform to limit the president’s online activities.
YouTube said in a tweet that it suspended Trump’s channel after new content was uploaded that violated its policies. It did not specify which videos were in question or how they were in violation.
The move to curtail Trump’s social media activity comes after a mob of his supporters, urged on by his rhetoric, stormed the Capitol last week to try to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
“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,” YouTube said in a statement on Twitter.
YouTube said that the channel had its “1st strike” and comments would be indefinitely disabled on the channel. Under YouTube’s policies, a second strike will result in a two-week suspension, while a third strike bans the account permanently.
Tech companies have moved to suspend Trump’s online postings, with Facebook and Instagram suspending Trump at least until the end of his term and Twitter permanently banning his account. Other sites, including Reddit and Snapchat have also banned Trump. Online shopping platform Shopify has pulled Trump stores off its platform.
Companies like Apple and Google have also moved to ban Parler, a social networking site popular among Trump supporters, from their app stores. Parler’s site also went offline this week after Amazon ceased to provide hosting services to the company.
“A minimum of seven days is an important and necessary first step by YouTube, and we hope they will make it permanent,” said Jim Styer, CEO of media rating firm Common Sense Media.
“While it is disappointing that it took a Trump-incited attack on our Capitol to get here, it appears that all the major platforms are finally beginning to step up and take this important issue seriously and that policymakers and the public are committed to holding them accountable,” he said.
Zen Soo, The Associated Press