Donald Trump’s mainstream social media and other online platforms are diminishing in the wake of his encouraging his supporters to march to the Capitol on Wednesday, following years of tensions over freedom of expression linked to his volatile posts.
Twitter: Permanently suspended @realDonaldTrump
While Twitter had temporarily locked Mr Trump out of his account after he posted a video backing the rioters, it confirmed it was permanently closing the outgoing President’s account late on Friday night after Mr Trump tweeted two messages it determined were likely to “inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on 6 January“, adding there were already “multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so”.
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat: Suspended indefinitely
Facebook and Instagram have blocked him from their platforms for at least the next two weeks “until the peaceful transition of power is complete”, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed on Thursday, adding Facebook had been used “to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” Similarly, Snapchat has disabled Mr Trump’s account indefinitely.
YouTube: Account still active
Mr Trump’s YouTube channel is still live after the company removed the video in which he praised the rioters, but will be removed if he uploads two further videos that violate its policies in the next 90 days under the company’s existing rules.
The company’s guidelines state that any channels posting new videos containing false claims related to the US election results or the Capitol Hill insurrection will generate a strike and that channels with three strikes within 90 days will be permanently shut down.
“We removed a video posted on Wednesday to Donald Trump’s channel that violated our policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 US election,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
“We do allow copies of this video if uploaded with additional context and sufficient educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA) value.”
Google and Apple: Suspending Pro-Trump network Parler from their respective app stores
Apple and Google have announced Twitter alternative Parler’s suspension from their respective app stores, citing Parler’s failure to police posts that incite violence and lawless action, making the app temporarily unavailable to download.
Apple’s app review board said it had found multiple examples of direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action on Parler.
“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.
“Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
Google said it was aware of continued posting in the app seeking to incite ongoing violence in the US, despite its marketplace Google Play’s rules that apps hosting user-generated content were required to have moderation polices to remove such content.
“All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months,” a spokesperson for Google said.
Amazon: Cut ties with Parler by withdrawing its web hosting services
Amazon has since chosen to cut ties with Parler entirely by withdrawing its web hosting services from the site, while Apple and Google’s bans will remain in place until it resolves the issues that violate their policies.
Parler chief executive John Matze claimed the platform could be offline for up to a week as it attempted to rebuild away from Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is turning off Parler’s servers at midnight on Sunday Pacific Time (7.59am GMT on Monday).
Amazon told Parler in an email seen by BuzzFeed News that it had contacted the site several weeks previously with concerns over 98 posts that “clearly encourage and incite violence”.
“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service,” the email read.
“We cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.”
Reddit: Cracking down on pro-Trump subreddit
Forum Reddit, which previously banned 790,000-strong pro-Trump community The Donald for frequently violating the company’s anti-harassment rules, has also banned another group simply called Donald Trump over repeated policy violations, according to tech site TechCrunch.
“Reddit’s site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals,” a spokesperson said.
“In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed. We have also taken action to ban the community r/donaldtrump given repeated policy violations in recent days regarding the violence at the US Capitol.”
Twitch: Assessing the future of President’s suspended account once he leaves office
While Mr Trump’s channel on streaming site Twitch is still available to watch older videos on, he has been prevented from streaming new footage, with the company planning to reassess the future of the account once he leaves office later this month.
Discord: Taken The Donald server offline
Server Discord said that while it had uncovered no evidence a server called The Donald had been instrumental in helping to organise the Capitol insurrection, it was taking it down over its links to violent extremism.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy against hate and violence of any kind on the platform, or the use of Discord to support or organise around violent extremism,” Discord told tech site The Verge following writer Casey Newton’s initial report.
“While there is no evidence of a server called The Donald being used to organise the 6 Jan riots, Discord decided to ban the entire server today due to its overt connection to an online forum used to incite violence, plan an armed insurrection in the United States, and spread harmful misinformation related to 2020 US election fraud.”
Shopify: Permanently deleted two online shops selling merchandise,
“Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence,” the company said.
The President’s actions violated its Acceptable Use Policy, “which prohibits promotion or support of organisations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”
Pinterest: Prohibiting #StopTheSteal hashtags
Pinterest has said it is limiting the use of hashtags including #StopTheSteal, the online campaign claiming Mr Trump was the rightful victor of November’s Presidential election.
What about TikTok?
It’s possible Mr Trump may attempt to join the Chinese-owned video app TikTok, despite his long campaign to get the app banned in the US, claiming it passes users’ private data to the Chinese government. TikTok has yet to respond to a query from New York Magazine asking whether it would refuse to allow the President to join.
Like Pinterest, the company has been directing users away from hashtags including #patriotparty and #stormthecapitol away from clips and to its community guidelines.