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27 Jan, 2021 09:19

YouTube prolongs Trump suspension citing ‘ongoing potential for violence’ as Big Tech doubles down on deplatforming policies

YouTube prolongs Trump suspension citing ‘ongoing potential for violence’ as Big Tech doubles down on deplatforming policies

Former US president Donald Trump will remain barred from using YouTube for the foreseeable future, the video-hosting service has announced, adding that it placed new restrictions on Trump lawyer Rudy Guiliani’s account.

The Google-owned company said on Tuesday that Trump’s channel will remain suspended “in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence.” 

A spokesperson said that YouTube was keeping an eye on “any new developments” surrounding the controversial suspension and would take action accordingly. 

Following Twitter’s lead, YouTube blocked Trump on January 12, after the riots at the Capitol. The video service claimed at the time that it was worried that the ex-president could use its platform to incite further violence. YouTube extended the ban last week, saying that the restrictions would remain in place for at least another week. 

In its latest announcement, YouTube did not indicate for how long the suspension would remain in place. The prolonged suspension also means that comments will continue to be disabled on the videos currently posted to Trump’s YouTube account. 

In a separate announcement, the company said that it was temporarily blocking Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, from participating in its partner program, which allows him to monetize videos on his channel. YouTube said it made the decision after Giuliani repeatedly violated its policy prohibiting false claims about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 presidential elections. He can reapply for the program after 30 days, once the issues associated with his account are resolved, a YouTube spokesperson said.  

The restrictions are part of a sweeping crackdown by Big Tech firms on what it has deemed extremist or potentially dangerous content. Trump’s permanent removal from Twitter was followed by bans and restrictions imposed by Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other major platforms, all citing concerns about the former president and his supporters inciting violence. 

The speech-policing has also focused on what has been described as “misinformation” about November’s presidential contest. On Monday, Twitter permanently suspended MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, claiming that the outspoken Trump supporter was guilty of repeated violations of its policy that bars “manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.” 

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