- YouTube banned accounts promoting white supremacy and racial hatred, while Reddit banned its largest pro-President Donald Trump community and Twitch temporarily suspended the president’s official channel for promoting “hateful content.”
- YouTube and Reddit have taken action in line with new revisions to their policies while vastly increasing the number of bannings.
- The news comes as calls for social media platforms to better address hate speech and racism increased over the past two months.
Six YouTube channels were terminated after the company revised its content guidelines. These included white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, white supremacist channel American Renaissance and its affiliate AmRenPodcasts, Richard Spencer‘s personal channel and its affiliate the National Policy Institute/Radix Journal, and Stefan Molyneux, a far right racial pseudo-scienctist.
Reddit banned its subreddit The_Donald, where over 790,000 users regularly shared content about U.S. President Donald Trump. 2,000 other subreddits, including one devoted to Chapo Trap House, a popular leftist comedy podcast, were also banned.
Twitch temporarily suspended Trump’s account after finding that hateful comments were made on two separate livestreams. The offending content – Trump’s June 2015 campaign kick-off speech infamous labelling Mexicans as “rapists” and his June 2020 Tulsa, Oklahoma rally – has been removed.
Cracking down on hate
Each company cited existing or new policies regarding their actions. In its statement to TechCrunch, YouTube affirmed that after its latest update, it deleted over 25,000 channels and saw a 5x spike in video removals related to hate speech violations. The channels also violated policies prohibiting YouTube videos from referring users to hateful content and creators from presenting a protected group as inferior.
r/The_Donald was previously criticised by Reddit CEO Steve Huffman this month when he announced changes to the platform’s content policy after years of criticism. The new policy explicitly states that “communities and users that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned.”
In contrast, Twitch flagged the streams for violating pre-existing Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. The company affirmed that political or newsworthy content was not exempt.