Twitch Suspends Trump’s Account for ‘Hateful Conduct’
(Bloomberg) -- Twitch and Reddit Inc. banned content linked to President Donald Trump for violating their rules against encouraging hate.
Twitch, Amazon.com Inc.’s live streaming site, temporarily banned Trump’s account for reposting a 2016 speech in which he characterized Mexicans as rapists and a more recent speech in which he conjured up the image of an evil-doer breaking into a house.
Reddit, a community-based social website, said it banned 2,000 discussion pages, including r/The_Donald for being one of the two biggest violators of rules against promoting hate based on identity.
“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” the company said in an emailed statement. “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.”
Trump has been much criticized for his infamous reference to Mexicans when he kicked off his presidential campaign five years ago.
The second violation, cited by Twitch, referred to a portion of Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he outlined a scenario of “a very tough hombre” breaking into a sleeping woman’s house at night. “By the way, you have many cases like that, many, many, many,” Trump said, according a Twitch transcript of the speech.
A Twitch spokeswoman said the suspension would be temporary but declined to elaborate. Best known as a popular portal for video gamers to stream themselves, Twitch also hosts live video on a wide range of other topics. When Trump’s team started his account on the site last year, Twitch informed the team that the company wouldn’t make exceptions to its content policy for political or newsworthy content, the spokeswoman said.
The suspension is another point of confrontation between the president and Jeff Bezos. Trump has blasted the Amazon founder for critical stories published in the Washington Post, which Bezos owns independently of Amazon. He has also jabbed Bezos for Amazon’s use of the U.S. Postal Service.
Bezos, who during the 2016 presidential campaign offered to send Trump to space using his rocket venture, has generally refrained from responding to Trump’s missives after he took office. The world’s richest man did post on Instagram a thinly veiled critique of an interaction with a Trump advisor at a Washington social event Bezos was hosting.
Reddit, one of the most visited websites in the world, has a history of not censoring questionable content. Founder Alexis Ohanian earlier this month announced his resignation from the board and urged the company to replace him with a Black candidate amid protests over policy brutality and racial injustice. Within a week, Reddit named Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel to its board, honoring the request.
“Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to support our communities by taking stronger action against those who try to weaponize parts of Reddit against other people,” Reddit Chief Executive Officer Steve Huffman said while announcing the bans.
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