AUCKLAND, Calif. – YouTube said on Tuesday it had shut down President Trump’s channel over concerns about the “continuing potential for violence,” the latest move by a major technology company to limit the president online.
In a tweet on the official YouTube account, Google’s own video site said it had suspended Mr. Trump’s account after one of his latest videos violated his policy of banning content that spreads misinformation, claiming that there was widespread electoral fraud. YouTube has said it will not be able to upload new content to its channel, which has about 2.8 million subscribers, for at least seven days. YouTube also said it has disabled comments on his video indefinitely.
Many technology companies have moved to restrict Mr Trump online after a tumultuous crowd of his supporters, called by the president, stormed the Capitol last week. As a result, Facebook stopped the president from his main social network, as well as from Instagram, at least until the end of his term. Twitter was followed by a permanent ban on Mr Trump’s account at his service, depriving him of his favorite social media platform, where he had 88 million followers. Other sites, such as Snapchat, Reddit and Twitch, also restricted Mr Trump.
The moves have been praised by liberals and others who say the action is long overdue because Mr Trump has used social media to spread lies and incite violence. Critics, however, said the restriction of wholesale trade raises questions about how much power technology companies have over online discourse.
Large technology companies have also received support from other sites that have hosted the right content. On Monday, Parler, a social networking site that became popular with Trump supporters for its loose approach to free speech, darkened after Amazon withdrew its computer services. Apple and Google had previously removed Parler from their app stores. Parler said he was looking for a way to get back online.
This is an evolving story and will be updated.