After years of letting Donald Trump be Donald Trump, tech companies—most recently YouTube—have taken a stand and suspended his accounts, albeit during the president’s final week in office.
Google-owned YouTube became the latest platform to suspend Trump until after he leaves office on Jan. 20. It’s the latest domino to fall since the president egged on a deadly insurrection in the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, in which one police officer was murdered and bombs were deactivated nearby.
“After careful review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to the Donald J. Trump channel and issued a strike for violating our policies for inciting violence,” a YouTube spokesperson said in an email. “As a result, in accordance with our long-standing strikes system, the channel is now prevented from uploading new videos or livestreams for a minimum of seven days—which may be extended.”
Without Trump, users are turning to right-wing sites like Parler and Gab, although the former is facing suspensions from tech app platforms of its own. Until last week’s deadly events, mainstream tech platforms have been slow to take decisive action against Trump’s posts. With a Joe Biden administration around the corner, and ongoing regulatory probes, a tougher stance is inevitable.
YouTube said the rule-breaking video included comments made in Tuesday’s press conference that violated its rules on inciting violence. When Trump receives access again, he will have one strike on his account. If in a 90-day period he breaks the rules a second time, he will receive a two-week suspension. If he breaks them a third time, his account will be permanently banned.
The company also said it will disable comments on any video previously posted to Trump’s channel “given the ongoing concerns about violence.”
YouTube previously took down a Trump video, posted amid the violence Wednesday, that made bogus claims alleging widespread voter fraud in the presidential election. It then announced a new strike system for accounts, including Trump’s, that post election misinformation.
The NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups that organized the Stop Hate for Profit advertiser boycott of Facebook this summer threatened YouTube with similar action on Tuesday should it not remove Trump’s account. Borat actor and social media critic Sacha Baron Cohen called on YouTube to ban trump’s account on Jan. 11.