- Major social media platforms on Monday took action against
Trump, pro-Trump groups, and far-right accounts for violating their
policies against hate speech.
- Reddit banned r/The_Donald, the largest pro-Trump subreddit,
Twitch suspended Trump’s official account, and YouTube banned a
number of prominent white supremacists’ channels.
- The moves come as
major advertisers are boycotting Facebook over the company’s
refusal to take more aggressive action against hate speech and
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Reddit, Amazon subsidiary Twitch, and Google’s YouTube took
actions on Monday against prominent pro-Trump and far-right
accounts and groups, as well as Trump himself, in an attempt to
crack down on hate speech on their platforms.
more than 2,000 subreddits that regularly broke its rules about
harassment, hate speech, and targeting, includingr/The_Donald, a
pro-Trump forum with more than 790,000 users.
“The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more
rule-breaking content than average … and its mods have refused to
meet our most basic expectations,” CEO Steve Huffman wrote in a
blog post Monday.
The subreddits were banned as part of Reddit’s enforcement
new policy banning people or subreddits who “promote hate based
on identity or vulnerability” or target “victims of a major violent
event and their families.”
Twitch, a video streaming platform popular among gamers, said it
temporarily suspended President Donald Trump’s official account
for violating its hateful-conduct rules.
“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” the company said in
a 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.”
Twitch cited two examples of “offending content” from Trump’s
account, one from a campaign rally in 2016 and another from Trump’s
recent campaign event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, both of which showed the
president making racist comments about Mexican Americans.
Also on Monday, YouTube announced it had banned the accounts of
many popular white supremacists, including longtime Ku Klux Klan
leader David Duke, Richard Spencer, and Stefan Molyneux, citing
their violations of YouTube’s hate speech guidelines.
“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and
terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those
policies,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement provided to
A YouTube spokesperson told The Verge, which first reported the news: “After updating
our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x
spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels
for violating our hate speech policies.”
Social media companies face growing pressure over hate speech
The actions by Reddit, Twitch, and YouTube came the same day
long list of major brands announced they would pause
advertising on Facebook and subsidiary Instagram, citing inaction
around hate speech.
Civil rights groups including the NAACP and Anti-Defamation
called for the advertising boycott earlier this month following
Facebook’s refusal to take action against
controversial posts by Trump in which he called those
protesting the death of George Floyd “thugs” and suggested violence
CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook’s decision not to label or
remove the posts at the time, while Twitter
labeled identical tweets from Trump as “glorifying
On Friday, after clothing retailer The North Face joined the
Facebook boycott, other major brands including Verizon, Unilever,
Honda, Coca-Cola, and Ben & Jerry’s said they too would
In response, Facebook announced a
slew of new rules around hate speech and misinformation, but so
far, those changes don’t appear to have appeased advertisers
On Monday, the boycott grew significantly as Starbucks, Adidas,
PepsiCo, Denny’s, Diageo, Conagra Foods, and Clorox said they would
also pause ad spending on the platform.
Some of the companies also announced a pause on advertising
across all social media platforms, citing the broader problem of
their role in amplifying misinformation and hate speech.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, racial justice protests, and
upcoming elections, social media companies are facing growing
pressure to get tougher on moderating harmful content and
Aaron Holmes, Ben Gilbert, Rachel Greenspan, Isobel Asher
Hamilton, and Rob Price contributed reporting for this story.
Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Reddit, YouTube, and Twitch are taking major steps to crack
down on hate speech from pro-Trump and far-right groups (GOOG,
GOOGL, AMZN, FB)