WASHINGTON — YouTube said late Tuesday it’s suspending U.S. President Donald Trump’s channel for at least one week for violating the company’s policies amid fears of additional violence in the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol.
The details: The Google-owned video-sharing service announced in a tweet that the action would count as an initial strike against Trump’s account, which could lead to Trump being permanently banned on the platform if he violates its rules twice more.
“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’s press arm tweeted late Tuesday.
YouTube added that it would be “indefinitely disabling comments” on Trump’s account, again citing “ongoing concerns about violence” surrounding his online postings.
The company did not specify what content violated its policies.
Key context: The move comes as YouTube faces heightened pressure from Democratic lawmakers and left-leaning activists to crack down on Trump’s posts, after rivals Twitter and Facebook took more aggressive steps to limit the president’s accounts on those platforms.
After the rioting at the Capitol, YouTube removed a Trump video that repeated his baseless allegations that the election was “stolen” from him. It said after the fact that it would begin enforcing suspensions and potentially permanent bans against accounts that violated policies against spreading baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
The announcement meant Trump would need to violate YouTube policies three times going forward to draw a permanent ban. His first strike came Tuesday.
Civil rights groups demanded earlier Tuesday that YouTube remove Trump’s account, threatening to launch a broad boycott against the company if it did not, Reuters reported.
Trump’s reaction: The president earlier Tuesday lashed out at tech companies for suspending and restricting his accounts, saying in his first remarks to reporters since the riot that tech companies had done a “horrible thing for our country and to our country.”
YouTube suspends Trump for at least a week The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Politico.