Twitch Temporarily Suspends Trump For ‘Hateful Conduct,’ While Reddit Bans Pro-Trump Forum

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TOPLINE

Reddit announced Monday that it had banned a popular forum used by supporters of President Trump called “The_Donald,” along with approximately 2,000 other subreddits from across the political spectrum; Twitch has temporarily suspended the president’s account due to “hateful conduct.”

KEY FACTS

“The_Donald” subreddit, which had over 790,000 subscribers as of Monday morning, was shut down for “frequent rule-breaking, antagonizing the company and other communities and for failing to meet our most basic expectations,” according to Reddit CEO Steve Huffman.

Last year, Reddit had restricted functionality and visibility of “The_Donald” due to repeated rules violations, as the community, according to Politico reporting, had “long been plagued by racist, xenophobic and other derogatory content.”

“Chapo Trap House,” a forum devoted to the leftist podcasting group, is among the other roughly 2,000 other communities shuttered by Reddit as part of a revamping of the company’s hate speech policies.

Less than an hour after Reddit’s announcement, Amazon’s live streaming video site, Twitch, temporarily banned the president from its platform.

Twitch said that one of Trump’s 2016 campaign rallies, which was recently rebroadcast on the platform, and comments made at his recent Tulsa rally led to the suspension.

“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed,” a Twitch spokesperson told Forbes.

The Trump campaign joined Twitch in 2019 to stream its rallies and events; it’s unknown how long Trump’s account will be suspended.

Key Background:

Throughout the U.S. and the world, social media sites have faced mounting pressure to moderate and/or police the content they distribute. “While Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and others originally positioned themselves as neutral sites that simply hosted people’s posts and videos, users are now pushing them to take steps against hateful, abusive and false speech on their platforms,” wrote the New York Times on Monday. Late last month, Twitter addressed a controversial presidential post by flagging a tweet that contained the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” After the official White House Twitter account reposted Trump’s words verbatim, Twitter responded by again overlaying a warning that it violated Twitter rules on glorifying violence. 

Tangent:

Facebook has received significant criticism for its soft stance toward confronting this budding controversy, which has resulted in an advertising boycott of the company called for by multiple civil rights groups. Thus far, over 100 marketers, including Verizon, Hershey’s, Patagonia and more, have announced they will not work with Facebook until “meaningful action” is taken to address misinformation and hate speech. A Washington Post investigation published Sunday found that multiple Facebook policies—particularly concerning offensive speech from political figures—and its algorithm change emerged from the tech giant attempts to “accommodate” President Trump and the GOP.

Critical Quote:

“I have to admit that I’ve struggled with balancing my values as an American, and around free speech and free expression, with my values and the company’s values around common human decency,” Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said in a call with reporters on Monday.

Further Reading:

Report: Facebook Crafted Policies To Justify Allowing Trump’s Inflammatory Comments On Its Platform (Forbes) 

Twitch temporarily bans President Trump (The Verge) 

Reddit, Acting Against Hate Speech, Bans’ The_Donald’ Subreddit (New York Times) 

Twitter Sanctions White House Tweet, Which Repeated Earlier Trump Tweet (Forbes) 

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