What Google's YouTube Has Said About Donald Trump's Channel Suspension

YouTube has blocked Donald Trump from uploading new content to his official channel for at least a week.

The video-sharing platform, owned by Google, said the move comes in light of "concerns about the ongoing potential for violence."

The president has already been blocked from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snap after his supporters stormed Capitol Hill last week.

Five people including a police officer died after Trump addressed the crowds and continued to push his unfounded claims of election fraud at a "Stop the Steal" demonstration on Wednesday, which quickly turned into a violent siege on the Capitol.

donald trump you tube ban
U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas. Mandal Ngan/Getty Images

House Democrats have now introduced articles of impeachment against Trump, saying he "engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States." The House is expected to vote on impeachment on Wednesday.

Pressure to ban the president had been building on YouTube after Facebook and Twitter did the same following last week's violent riots in the nation's capital. Not only were social media users calling for the move, but Google's own workers' union—Alphabet Workers Union—sent an open letter to YouTube executives last Thursday, condemning them for what it termed a "lackluster" response in censoring the president's fraudulent election claims and rhetoric.

On Monday morning, the actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen also called for YouTube to remove the president. In a tweet that was widely commented on and shared, including by fellow progressive actor Mark Ruffalo, Baron Cohen wrote: "Virtually every social media company has removed Trump...EXCEPT YouTube. Trump's YouTube channel is STILL showing videos of his election lies to MILLIONS of people!"

The civil rights coalition Stop Hate for Profit, which seeks to stop hate speech and misinformation on social media platforms, had demanded they remove Trump's verified pages due to his "indisputable pattern of behavior that preceded his calls to violence this week."

But on Tuesday, Trump hit out at the social media giants, telling reporters: "I think that Big Tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country, and I believe it's going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They're dividing and divisive."

Trump had earlier sent a series of tweets from the official @POTUS account in an attempt to circumvent his Twitter ban, accusing the company of stifling free speech. But Twitter soon deleted the posts, which were captured in screenshots.

"As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me," Trump wrote.

What has YouTube said about Donald Trump's ban

YouTube announced that Trump's channel, which has 2.77 million subscribers, would be blocked for at least seven days in a tweet late on Tuesday night.

While Trump's channel is still live, YouTube said it removed content on Tuesday that violated its policies for inciting violence. The clip in question showed Trump telling reporters that impeaching him for inciting violence would be "very dangerous," according to USA Today.

Meanwhile, many people are calling for Trump to be permanently suspended from YouTube, but users must get three "strikes" before that happens, according to its rules.

The platform wrote: "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."

2/ Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section. https://t.co/1aBENHGU5z

— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) January 13, 2021

YouTube also tweeted that "given the ongoing concerns about violence," it would disable comments indefinitely on Trump's channel.

YouTube told Newsweek that Trump will not be permanently banned unless he gets three strikes on YouTube. But it did add that the current seven-day ban can be extended.

If Trump receives a second strike in the next 90 days then he will receive a two-week suspension and if he gets a third, then he will be permanently removed.

The website said it makes no exception for public figures, adding that it has previously removed videos from Trump's channel for violating its policies.

In a statement, the platform said: "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.

"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. We are also indefinitely disabling comments under videos on the channel, we've taken similar actions in the past for other cases involving safety concerns."