Amazon-owned Twitch became the latest platform to take action against President Donald Trump today, temporarily suspending his account for “hateful” comments made in two separate events.
“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed,” according to a statement from Twitch.
The statement pointed to two specific incidents that violated Twitch’s rules on hateful conduct. One came from Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla. on June 20, which was streamed on Twitch. Per a transcript from Twitch, he said:
“Hey, it’s 1:00 o’clock in the morning and a very tough, I’ve used the word on occasion, hombre, a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do. And you call 911 and they say, “I’m sorry, this number’s no longer working.” By the way, you have many cases like that, many, many, many. Whether it’s a young woman, an old woman, a young man or an old man and you’re sleeping.”
The other comment that broke Twitch’s rules was a rebroadcast of Trump’s infamous campaign rally in 2016 when he said that Mexican immigrants are rapists. Per Twitch’s transcript:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.”
Trump first joined Twitch in October. A spokesperson for Twitch said that politicians are held to the same standards as all users on the platform and must adhere to site rules.
Twitch defines these as “any content or activity that promotes, encourages, or facilitates discrimination, denigration, objectification, harassment, or violence based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or serious medical condition or veteran status, and is prohibited.”
The president’s posts on social media have always vexed platform companies in Silicon Valley, but tensions escalated in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. After Trump posted that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a thinly veiled threat to order the National Guard to shoot protesters, Twitter and Facebook took divergent stances on the acceptability of the president’s speech.
Twitter restricted the offending post for “glorifying violence,” while Facebook said it did not break site rules on inciting violence. Facebook recently amended its policy, in response to an all-out advertiser boycott, to label newsworthy content from politicians that breaks site rules (similar to Twitter’s policy).
Snapchat also announced earlier this month that it would no longer promote Trump’s account in its Discover feed, a hub for curated content on the platform, for inciting racial violence. And on Monday, Reddit banned /r/The_Donald, the primary hub for the president on the platform, for violations of numerous rules including its new ban on hate speech.
Twitch recently faced criticism after numerous women spoke out about harassment on the platform.