YouTube Becomes The Latest Platform To Restrict President Donald Trump's Access
It is a bad time to be President Donald J Trump as YouTube becomes the test in a long line of online social platforms to restrict or suspend the President's access.
First was his midnight train partner Twitter, and this was quickly followed by a clampdown at the hands of Zuckerberg's Facebook and Instagram. Since then, Twitch, Reddit, Snapchat have joined in on the action.
Twitter users are already having fun with the President.
Though YouTube's is only a temporary suspension, for now, this doesn't mean it won't be made permanent. Twitter's Trump lockout was also temporary at the beginning until Trump got back on and continued to Trump.
“The current context is now fundamentally different, involving the use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Thursday post explaining his decision. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
A host of these platforms are saying that they are disabling Trump's usage as a step to avoid gaslighting, inciting violence in the wake of the Capitol Hill attack on January 6th.
Other sites, such as Pinterest and TikTok, did not ban Trump — he isn’t known to have an account on either side — but did move to limit the spread of hashtags and other content associated with the president’s promotion of right-wing conspiracy theories. Pinterest tells Axios that it has been limiting the reach of certain hashtags like #StopTheSteal “since around the November election.”
On TikTok, videos of Trump’s speech to supporters on Wednesday exhorting them to march to the Capitol will be removed, and hashtags like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty will redirect to a notification about the platform’s community guidelines.
Furthermore, Google has suspended Parler, a "free speech" Twitter clone popular with Trump supporters, from its Play Store pending the implementation of "robust moderation for egregious content." This means that the App cannot be accessed via Google Playstore and Apple's App Store.
The social clampdown has not come with backlash, with many putting the internet's role under the microscope. Before the U.S. Capitol invasion, there were calls for the killing of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which blocks liability claims against social media companies for users’ posts on their sites. Section 230 was seen as a protection of free speech.