July 14, 2020

Twitch Suspends Trump’s Channel for ‘Hateful Conduct’

“You have to sort of wonder, if smaller platforms start taking more aggressive or harder action on what they consider harmful content or on the disinformation side — will that end up pressuring the larger platforms to do more as well?” Ms. Otis asked.

But, she added, “if stuff gets removed from one platform, it simply migrates to another.”

The actions are likely to revive charges by conservatives that social media platforms are suppressing and censoring their speech. Whitney Phillips, who researches disinformation at Syracuse University, said the moves were “definitely going to be weaponizable by people on the far right who can point to this” and say that online platforms were biased against conservatives.

Some backlash began on Monday after YouTube announced it was barring six channels for violating its hate speech policies, including one by Stefan Molyneux, a podcaster and internet commentator who has discussed his far-right politics. Far-right YouTubers quickly accused the Google-owned site of bias.

Mr. Molyneux, who had nearly one million YouTube subscribers and more than 300 million video views on the platform since starting his channel more than a decade ago, said on Twitter that YouTube had “just suspended the largest philosophy conversation the world has ever known.”

The Trump campaign did not directly address the actions by Twitch and Reddit on Monday. Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, said in a statement that people should download the Trump campaign app or text the campaign’s automated number to “hear directly from the president.”

Twitch is not one of Mr. Trump’s top social media channels. His channel began streaming on the service last October, amassing more than 125,000 followers and 113 streams, compared with his more than 83 million followers on Twitter.

The platform did not address whether any of Mr. Trump’s other past streams had violated its rules. It said it told Mr. Trump’s campaign last year that it did not “make exceptions for political or newsworthy content” that violated its guidelines.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/technology/twitch-trump.html

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