US Capitol riot

Rights groups seek removal of Trump's YouTube channel

US President Trump's channel is now prevented from uploading new videos or live streams for a minimum of seven days.
US President Trump's channel is now prevented from uploading new videos or live streams for a minimum of seven days.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

WASHINGTON • United States civil rights groups will organise an advertiser boycott against Alphabet's YouTube if it does not remove President Donald Trump's channel, the groups told Reuters.

Mr Jim Steyer, one of the organisers of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign which led over 1,000 advertisers to boycott Facebook in July, said the groups are demanding YouTube take down Mr Trump's verified YouTube channel, which has 2.76 million subscribers.

YouTube said late on Tuesday that the company removed new content uploaded to Mr Trump's channel as it violated policies for inciting violence, and that it is barring the uploading of fresh content for a minimum of seven days.

YouTube described its action as a first "strike". Under its policy, a channel would be banned permanently if it incurs three strikes.

Facebook, Twitter and Snap have all blocked Mr Trump after supporters of the President stormed the US Capitol last week, leading to five deaths.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump's YouTube channel posted eight new videos, including one in which the President told reporters "I think Big Tech has made a terrible mistake" by blocking him.

YouTube has told the groups it is considering the demands but has yet to act, Mr Steyer said. "If YouTube does not agree with us and join the other platforms in banning Trump, we're going to go to the advertisers," he added.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2021, with the headline 'Rights groups seek removal of Trump's YouTube channel'. Print Edition | Subscribe