Twitch makes Trump ban indefinite, citing continued potential for harm

Eric Abent - Jan 21, 2021, 1:21pm CST
Twitch makes Trump ban indefinite, citing continued potential for harm

Following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States yesterday, there was some question as to whether or not internet platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook would reactivate the accounts of former President Trump. We now have an answer concerning one of those platforms, as Twitch has announced that it is banning Trump’s account indefinitely.

Previously, Twitch disabled Trump’s account on January 7th and suggested that it would re-evaluate its decision after the transition to the Biden administration was complete. With Biden successfully sworn in yesterday, Twitch delivered a statement to IGN in which it said that it’s suspending Trump’s account indefinitely due to an “ongoing risk of further incitement of violence.”

We have indefinitely suspended President Trump’s Twitch channel due to the ongoing risk of further incitement of violence. The President’s statements continue to be interpreted as calls to action, and we are taking this action to remove the potential for harm to our community and the general public.

Twitch has clear rules that prohibit hateful conduct, harassment, or incitement of violence on our service, and we consider off-service events when making enforcement decisions. However, the events of the past weeks have highlighted a gap with respect to rhetoric that encourages violence, regardless of whether or not it was directly streamed on Twitch. We will be updating our policies as a result of our consideration of this situation.

What’s the difference between disabling an account and suspending one? There’s not much, though there is one key difference – while Trump’s account was disabled, the page for it was still active, but it couldn’t broadcast livestreams. Now that Twitch has suspended his account indefinitely, Trump’s account is inaccessible, surfacing only an alert that says, “Sorry. Unless you’ve got a time machine, that content is unavailable,” when you attempt to visit it.

Whether or not Twitch will ever lift this ban is the big question now. The same goes for other platforms and social networks including YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Some of those platforms – Snapchat and Twitter, specifically – have already indicated that Trump’s bans are permanent. YouTube, on the other hand, has suggested that it intends to restore access to Trump’s account by only banning him for seven-day periods. On Facebook and Instagram, the posts Trump made in the lead up to his suspensions are still available, but otherwise, both accounts have gone silent.

We’ll see what happens from here, but a day into the Biden administration, Trump still finds himself banned from a number of large platforms. We’ll let you know if any of that changes, but it’s safe to say that Trump won’t be doing any Among Us streams on Twitch anytime soon.


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