YouTube suspends Trump channel, removes video due to 'potential for violence'

YouTube suspends Trump channel, removes video due to 'potential for violence'

YouTube signage is seen at their offices in London
FILE PHOTO: YouTube signage is seen at their offices in King's Cross, London, Britain, September 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

WASHINGTON: Alphabet's YouTube said on Tuesday (Jan 12) it has suspended Donald Trump's channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week's assault on the US Capitol by the president's supporters.

Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, DC.

"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.

The channel is now prevented from uploading new videos or livestreams for a minimum of seven days, which may be extended, YouTube said.

YouTube described its action as a first "strike". Under its policy, a channel would be banned permanently if it incurs three strikes.

READ: Guns and tear gas in US Capitol as Trump supporters attempt to overturn his loss

Facebook last week suspended Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts following the incident, which left five dead.

Twitter went a step further by deleting Trump's account, depriving him of his favourite platform.

Trump also was hit with suspensions by services such as Snapchat and Twitch.

On Jan 6, hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump ransacked the Capitol building as Congress was in session to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win, battling with police and sending lawmakers fleeing for safety.

Trump, who has challenged the validity of Biden's victory without producing evidence, initially praised his supporters but later condemned the violence.

READ: Commentary - The nightmarish end to Donald Trump’s presidency

On Tuesday, Trump denied responsibility for the assault and said his speech - in which he urged supporters to march on the Capitol and fight -before the siege were appropriate.

"If you read my speech ... what I said was totally appropriate," he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews when asked about any personal responsibility he had regarding the Jan 6 attack.

Trump's YouTube channel on Tuesday posted eight new videos, including one in which Trump told reporters "I think Big Tech has made a terrible mistake" by blocking him.

Source: Agencies/aj

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