YouTube to shut down Donald Trump's verified account? Google-owned platform says it is 'considering it'

YouTube is the last major tech platform that has not banned Trump from posting but it is considering doing so after civil rights groups threatened to organize an advertiser boycott against the video-sharing platform

                            YouTube to shut down Donald Trump's verified account? Google-owned platform says it is 'considering it'
Billboard advertisement for YouTube, the world's largest platform for sharing video clips (Getty Images)

YouTube is the last major tech platform that has not banned Trump from posting. Others like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have all blocked current President Donald Trump after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6. This was preceded by each platform deleting several of Trump's posts. YouTube has also removed President Donald Trump's video praising his supporters who violently swarmed into the Capitol building. In the video, Trump had called the rioters "very special," but told them to "go home." 

Currently, Donald's Trump verified YouTube channel has 2.77M subscribers and the latest video upload is just two hours old. The newly uploaded videos are clips from the One America News (OAN) coverage of Trump's speech near the US-Mexico border wall at Alamo, Texas. All the videos come with YouTube's boiler-plate statement that reiterates that the "Electoral college has confirmed Joe Biden as president elect". 

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc's Google, has told US civil rights groups that it is considering the demands to ban Trump's channel. However, it has released no official statement in this regard. Civil rights groups have announced that they will organize an advertiser boycott against Alphabet's YouTube if it does not remove President Donald Trump's channel, according to Jim Steyer, one of the organizers of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign which led over 1,000 advertisers to boycott Facebook in July.

“If YouTube does not agree with us and join the other platforms in banning Trump, we’re going to go to the advertisers,” Steyer said. “We join in with our coalition partners and ask that YouTube act decisively to help stop the spread of hate by shutting Trump’s account down,” said the NAACP in a statement to Reuters. The NAACP, Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change along with Steyer's group Common Sense Media, are among the organizers of the 'Stop Hate for Profit' campaign, which had earlier got major advertisers like Verizon Communications and Unilever to pull their ads from Facebook over hate speech concerns.

Trump’s YouTube channel gives him the opportunity to continue spreading false information that the U.S. election was stolen, Steyer had said about why the civil rights groups were asking YouTube to ban Trump from their platform.

YouTube had earlier explained its decision to keep Trump's account active by saying it has a three-strike policy, which permanently boots users who violate the service's policies within 90 days. But Trump has not received any strikes within the last 90 days, according to the company. Alex Joseph, a YouTube spokesperson, told the press that their "three-strikes system" that outlines the penalty for violating YouTube's policies are "consistently" applied regardless of who owns the channel.

YouTube is also under pressure from 'Borat' star Sacha Baron Cohen who had called on YouTube to "do the right thing" a day earlier and ban Trump. In his most recent tweets with the hashtag #BanTrumpSaveDemocracy, he says, "Trump's YouTube Channel has GAINED 30,000 subscribers this week. Other companies are cutting ties with Trump. YouTube is profiting! YouTube--the new Trump TV." 




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