After a Trump rally and march ended with an assault on the Capitol by supporters of the president, many social media companies responded by banning his accounts or limiting Donald Trump’s posts. YouTube previously removed a video where Donald Trump called the rioters “very special,” but otherwise did not restrict his posts, while Facebook indefinitely banned the president, Twitch disabled his account and Twitter eventually banned him.
Now YouTube says: “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 removed videos posted to the channel earlier today, but did not specify which ones.
There are some still videos available that were posted as recently as seven hours ago, but the channel now has been served a strike and will be blocked from uploading new content for a “minimum” of one week. Comments on the videos are also disabled, and like other platforms, Google-owned YouTube went on to cite “ongoing concerns about violence” as a reason.
New York Times reporter Davey Alba tweeted earlier about a video that has since been removed, where Trump said things like “there is always a countermove” and “our journey is just beginning.” While YouTube was not as specific, Twitter explained its ban by looking at the context of statements posted, saying “they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.” Based on the comments left on that video and statements made by supporters, it appears the possibility of inspiring additional violence prompted YouTube’s action.
At the same time YouTube announced this move, the Department of Justice uploaded a video to its YouTube channel featuring the acting Attorney General claiming there will be “no tolerance” for lawlessness during the inauguration of Joe Biden. Earlier in the day, several Republican U.S. representatives announced they support impeaching the president, blaming his actions for inciting last week’s attack.
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.