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Updated: Twitch, Discord suspend Trump-related accounts after Capitol assault

Updated: Twitch, Discord suspend Trump-related accounts after Capitol assault

January 7, 2021 | By Bryant Francis




Updated, 1/8: Discord has now followed Twitch in banning Trump-related accounts. It's announced a ban of "The Donald" Discord server.

A spokesperson told tech reporter Casey Newton that the decision was "due to its overt connection to an online forum used to incite violence and plan an armed insurrection."

That's a much more major step than Twitch's ban, as multiple journalists have pointed to Donald Trump-related online sites (like TheDonald.win, and this corrolary Discord server) as spots where key instigators of Wednesday's events allegedly discussed their intent to move on the Capitol.

Banning TheDonald's server potentially blunts the group from discussing further action, or at least forces them to another platform.

Original story follows below.

Twitch has taken another step in response to yesterday's assault on the US Capitol. It's now suspended the Twitch account of US President Donald Trump.

The move comes after Facebook locked down the President's accounts on Facebook and Instagram. In an e-mail to Kotaku, a Twitch representative said that the move was meant to prevent the President from "inciting further violence." 1/8 update: Twitter has now done the same.

“In light of yesterday’s shocking attack on the Capitol, we have disabled President Trump’s Twitch channel,” they said. “Given the current extraordinary circumstances and the President’s incendiary rhetoric, we believe this is a necessary step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence.”

The spokesperson said that the suspension has no end date at this time. “We are focused on minimizing harm leading up to the transition of government and will reassess his account after he leaves office.”

It's slightly unclear what constitutes a suspension in this case. Donald Trump's account is still viewable on Twitch and one can view older videos uploaded to the account. It's possible Twitch might have suspended the ability to broadcast or upload new videos for the time being.

This is the second time the US President's Twitch account has been suspended. Twitch briefly suspended his account in June for broadcasting "hateful content."

Twitch (and Facebook's) decision to band the president's social media accounts feel somewhat like shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped, run down to Washington DC, and encouraged a crowd of pro-Trump supporters to march on capitol hill. Little of what the President has posted on social media in the last week has varied from what he's posted since losing the election in November.

For Twitch's part, it's not like Donald Trump was hopping on the channel and streaming Fortnite while spreading incendiary content. The account seemed to mostly serve as a spot to rebroadcast Trump's rallies for a game-playing audience.

In 2020, the normally video-game-focused Twitch now found itself as a popular hub for political mobilization thanks in part to politicians like President-elect Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders, and House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using the platform to engage with US voters.



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