Reuters
Reuters

Trump has Twitch account restored after two week suspension for 'hateful conduct'

Recordings of two rallies by the president violated Twitch's code of conduct

Adam Smith
Tuesday 14 July 2020 09:05
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Donald Trump’s Twitch account has returned online, following its suspension two weeks ago.

Mr Trump’s accounts on the livestreaming platform were used to show presidential rallies, two of which Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, took issue with.

The first was a broadcast of a 2016 campaign event in which Mr Trump claimed Mexico is responsible for an influx of drugs and crime in the US.

The second was a rally in Tulsa where he described a criminal breaking and entering as a “very tough hombre”.

“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. 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”, a Twitch spokesperson said at the time.

The company said at the time that the ban was temporary, but did not indicate how long it would last.

Mr Trump’s Twitch channel no longer features any content from his rallies. Instead, viewers are met with 46 promotional videos from a range of pro-Trump views including “Evangelicals for Trump Online,” a stream hosted by Donald Trump Jr. called “Triggered!” and “Army for Trump Boot Camp Online”.

In comparison to Mr Trump’s personal Twitter account, which has 83M followers at time of writing, Mr Trump’s Twitch account has a more modest 130,000 followers.

Many of the videos only have a handful of views, averaging approximately 100 views per video.

Republican voters release ad explaining why they won't be voting for Trump in November

It is unclear what will happen to Mr Trump’s account should he violate Twitch’s policies again. Twitch declined to comment on how it would make decisions on the future of the account.

Twitch has previously said that it does not “make exceptions for political or newsworthy content”.

Other social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, have made exceptions for Mr Trump when he has violated their codes of conduct because he is the president of the United States and as such his posts reach a certain level of "newsworthiness".

That decision has made waves with users and business partners alike. Facebook is currently facing an advertiser backlash and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has u-turned on his decision not to label Mr Trump’s posts.

Twitter, meanwhile, added multiple labels to Mr Trump’s tweets that prevented users from seeing a handful of his tweets unless they clicked a button to reveal them.

As a result, Mr Trump signed an executive order that would attempt to fundamentally change how the internet works and limit the freedom of every website by making them legally responsible for all content – including user-generated content – on their platforms.

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