Jun 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Twitch temporarily bans Trump's channel for hateful content

Photo illustration: Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitch, the live-streaming service owned by Amazon, said Monday it issued a temporary suspension of President Trump’s channel "for comments made on stream," but that "the offending content has been removed," according to a spokesperson.

Why it matters: It's the latest major tech company to take action against one of the president's accounts for hate speech or conduct.

Details: Twitch said that President Trump's channel broadcast two videos recently with speeches that violate its rules against hateful conduct.

  1. From a 2016 campaign rally, recently rebroadcast on Twitch: "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."
  2. From Trump's June 20 Tulsa rally: "Hey, it's 1 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."

Between the lines: Twitch said it informed the president's team when it launched its channel last year that all accounts, including politicians, must follow its rules.

  • Twitch's rules ban hateful content, which the platform defines 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."

The big picture: The news of Twitch's decision broke at the same time as Reddit announced that it is banning the controversial subreddit forum r/The_Donald, one of the company's largest political communities and a longstanding hub of support for President Trump.

  • Reddit also banned 2,000 other subreddit groups and users that violate new content policies aimed at hate speech.
  • Twitch and Reddit are the latest social media platforms, in the wake of George Floyd's death and the ensuing protests, to take action against Trump or his supporters for violating rules or misleading users.

Go deeper: Social media takes on world leaders

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