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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Platforms are rapidly removing Donald Trump’s account or accounts affiliated with pro-Trump violence and conspiracies, like QAnon and #StoptheSteal.

REDDIT: 

  • WHAT: Reddit has banned the subreddit group "r/DonaldTrump," a spokesperson confirmed to Axios on Friday.
  • COMMENT: "Reddit's site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals. In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed," a spokesperson tells Axios.
  • CONTEXT: While not an official group or page hosted by the president, it's one of the company's largest political communities dedicated to support for President Trump.

TWITCH:

  • WHAT: Twitch disabled Trump's channel, citing the move as a "necessary step" to protect its community and "prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence."
  • COMMENT: “In light of yesterday’s shocking attack on the Capitol, we have disabled President Trump’s Twitch channel. Given the current extraordinary circumstances and the President's incendiary rhetoric, we believe this is a necessary step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence," a spokesperson told Axios.
  • CONTEXT: Twitch was one of the first platforms in June to temporarily ban Trump's channel for hateful content around the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

SHOPIFY: 

  • WHAT: Shopify took down two online stores affiliated with Trump — his organization and his campaign's merchandise sites — for violating its policies on supporting violence.
  • COMMENT: "Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump," per a Shopify spokesperson in an email to Axios.
  • CONTEXT: Shopify had until Friday gone the farthest in actually de-platforming Trump, as his stores were permanently removed, not temporarily disabled. 

TWITTER:

  • WHAT: Twitter announced Friday the platform will permanently ban President Trump's account effective immediately.
  • COMMENT: "After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," Twitter said in a statement.
  • CONTEXT: It's Twitter's strongest-ever action against the president's account and comes in response to the "risk of further incitement of violence," per the social media company.

GOOGLE:

  • WHAT: Google has pulled Parler, a social media app for conservatives and far-right extremists.
  • COMMENT: "In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence," a Google spokesperson said.
  • CONTEXT: Google’s move immediately suspends Parler, going further than Apple's earlier decision to remove the app unless it submits a content moderation plan.

YOUTUBE:

  • WHAT: YouTube is accelerating its enforcement of election misinformation and voter fraud claims against Trump and other channels. 
  • COMMENT: "Due to the extraordinary events that transpired yesterday, and given that the election results have been certified, any channel posting new videos with these false claims in violation of our policies will now receive a strike, a penalty which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming. Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube," Alex Joseph, a YouTube spokesperson, told Axios.
  • CONTEXT: YouTube is typically slow to take action on bad content and accounts. Its response, while swift, was somewhat benign compared to competitors removing or disabling Trump's account. YouTube did remove the video Trump posted Wednesday that addressed the Capitol violence without fully condemning it.

FACEBOOK:

  • WHAT: Facebook banned Donald Trump from posting on his Facebook accounts for at least the next two weeks until the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden is complete.
  • COMMENT: "We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post Thursday.
  • CONTEXT: On Wednesday, Facebook did remove the video Trump posted Wednesday addressing the violence without fully condemning it before taking greater action against Trump on Thursday.

INSTAGRAM: 

  • WHAT: Instagram banned Donald Trump from posting on his Facebook accounts for at least the next two weeks until the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden is complete.
  • COMMENT: "We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post Thursday.
  • CONTEXT: On Wednesday, Instagram's parent Facebook did remove the video Trump posted addressing the violence without fully condemning it before taking greater action against Trump on Thursday.

SNAPCHAT:

  • WHAT: Snapchat disabled Trump's Snapchat account Wednesday because it believes the account promotes and spreads hate and incites violence, a spokesperson said.
  • COMMENT: "We can confirm that earlier today we locked President Trump's Snapchat account," Snap spokesperson Rachel Racusen told Axios.
  • CONTEXT: Snapchat was one of the first major social platforms to take serious action on Trump's account for threats to democracy in June when the company said it stopped promoting his account in its "Discover" section, which features professional content and other prominent people.

TIKTOK:

  • WHAT: TikTok is removing content violations and redirecting hashtags like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty to its community guidelines.
  • COMMENT: "Hateful behavior and violence have no place on TikTok. Content or accounts that seek to incite, glorify, or promote violence violate our Community Guidelines and will be removed," a TikTok spokesperson said.
  • CONTEXT: Other hashtags like #stopthesteal and #QAnon have been redirected since last year. 

APPLE:

  • WHAT: Apple suspended Parler from its App Store Friday after threatening to remove right-wing-friendly social media app Parler from its App Store if Parler doesn’t lay out a plan to moderate its content. Apple cited concerns over threats of violence and inadequate content moderation on the service.
  • COMMENT: "Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety," an Apple spokesperson told Axios in an email.
  • CONTEXT: Apple's move means iPhone users won't be able to download Parler's app, but could continue to access it on any mobile or desktop device via its website.

DISCORD:

  • WHAT: Discord says it has banned server The Donald, per journalist Casey Newton.
  • COMMENT: "While there is no evidence of the server being used to organize the Jan 6 riots, Discord decided to ban the entire server today due to its overt connection to an online forum used to incite violence and plan an armed insurrection in the United States," per Mother Jones' Ali Breland.
  • CONTEXT: The Discord account was connected to the pro-Trump social network TheDonald.Win.

PINTEREST:

  • WHAT: Pinterest has been limiting hashtags related to pro-Trump topics such as #StopTheSteal since around the November election, a spokesperson said.
  • COMMENT: "Pinterest isn’t a place for threats, promotion of violence or hateful content," a Pinterest spokesperson said. "Our team is continuing to monitor and removing harmful content, including misinformation and conspiracy theories that may incite violence.”
  • CONTEXT: Trump doesn't have a Pinterest account, and the platform has tried to stay away from political content, but Pinterest hasn't been able to squelch it completely.

AMAZON AWS:

  • WHAT: Amazon's AWS cloud unit has ceased providing Parler with cloud services.
  • COMMENT: No official comment.
  • CONTEXT: In an email obtained by BuzzFeed News, an AWS Trust and Safety team told Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff, “Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms ... It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”

STRIPE:

  • WHAT: Stripe will no longer process payments for President Trump's campaign, which continued to fundraise.
  • COMMENT: No official comment.
  • CONTEXT: Stripe handles payments and transactions for many online websites.

OKTA:

  • WHAT: Okta on Sunday said it terminated Parler's access to a free trial of its product.
  • COMMENT: "We were notified that Parler was using a free trial of Okta’s product and we have terminated Parler’s access to the Okta platform. While we support organizations across the political spectrum, our platform will not be used for threats of violence and illegal activity," the company said in a tweet.
  • CONTEXT:  Okta provides companies with software to help them manage user authentication services.

TWILIO:

  • WHAT: Twlio said Sunday that it suspended Parler indefinitely.
  • COMMENT:  "Twilio's terms of service make it clear what we expect of customers. Based on activity on the Parler platform, we determined they were in violation of our AUP, specifically prohibiting the spread of disinformaion, encouraging violence, destruction of property and other illegal activity, threatening public safety, and harming Twilio's reputation," the Telegraph reported.
  • CONTEXT:  Twilio is an enterprise communications company.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with news of Stripe, Okta and AWS' actions.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Facebook seeks a new head of U.S. public policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is looking externally for a new U.S. policy chief as it moves Kevin Martin, a Republican who now holds the job, to a different position, per a memo seen by Axios.

Between the lines: Facebook is moving on from the Trump era in which Republicans held most of the power in Washington and Facebook was particularly eager among tech companies to forge warm relations with GOP policymakers.

2 hours ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for all private companies.

Why it matters: De Blasio, speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said the "first-in-the-nation measure" will go into effect starting Dec. 27. It will apply to approximately 184,000 businesses.