Twitch bans Trump for good, promises further policy changes

In the aftermath of the deadly riot that saw Trump supporters storm the US Capitol building, several social media and video-sharing platforms announced bans and suspensions for President Donald Trump’s accounts. One of these was Twitch, which on 8th January announced it had disabled President Trump’s channel – and the company has now confirmed Trump has been permanently banned from the platform.

“We have indefinitely suspended President Trump’s Twitch channel due to the ongoing risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitch said in a statement to IGN. “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.”

It seems Twitch intends to initiate wider change on the platform, however, and will be making further changes to its policies to clamp down on violent rhetoric.

“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,” Twitch said. “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.”

Twitch has already announced some changes to its harassment policy that come into effect tomorrow. The new policy bans the use of Confederate flags, encouraging doxxing, misgendering people, and sending links to unsolicited nudes. The policy will only affect videos uploaded from 22nd January onwards, however, so older videos will not be impacted. Twitch’s famous PogChamp emote, meanwhile, was recently pulled and replaced following controversial remarks by streamer Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierre, the face of the emote.

Prior to his suspension, Trump’s Twitch account had been used to stream rallies and other events, and had been banned on a previous occasion when it broadcast statements by Trump claiming that Mexicans are criminals. Since the Capitol riot, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter include just some of the platforms to have taken action against Trump. I guess it only took an attempted coup and several deaths to get there.