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Power

Twitch temporarily bans Trump for 'hateful' rally speeches

The move makes Twitch the first major social platform to outright ban the Trump campaign.

The Twitch logo on a phone

The Trump campaign officially joined Twitch in November.

Photo: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch temporarily banned President Trump's account for hate speech Monday. "Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch," a spokesperson told Protocol. "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."

Twitch's spokesperson didn't specify how long the ban would last, but said that it was temporary. The Trump campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment; a White House spokesperson declined to comment.

The Trump campaign officially joined Twitch in November, despite Trump's long distaste for Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos. At the time, Twitch warned the campaign that it would enforce its community guidelines without any exceptions for newsworthy content.

The suspension comes in response to the account's recent broadcast of Trump's Tulsa campaign event, which included remarks about "many, many, many" cases of "a very tough hombre" breaking into women's houses at night — a fictional anecdote that was supposed to demonstrate the danger of defunding police departments.

According to the spokesperson, Twitch also took issue with a recent rebroadcast of Trump's infamous 2016 campaign rally, during which then-candidate Trump mused that immigrants from Mexico were criminals, drug dealers and rapists, only to add: "And some, I assume, are good people."

Actually banning the president sets Twitch apart from Facebook and Twitter, which have treated Trump's social media posts differently from content published by average users. More recently, Twitter has been stepping up its enforcement against alleged violations of its terms of service against President Trump, including warning labels on some of his tweets. Last week, Facebook said it will start doing the same.

Under pressure from growing advertiser boycotts, a number of social media platforms have been taking a more aggressive stance against hate on their platforms in general. Also on Monday, Reddit banned The_Donald, a community that has been supportive of, but not affiliated with the Trump campaign.

Taken together, the renewed enforcement of rules against Trump and some of his supporters on multiple platforms is likely going to add fuel to the fire of conservatives attacking social media companies for alleged bias.

Politics

'Woke tech' and 'the new slave power': Conservatives gather for Vegas summit

An agenda for the event, hosted by the Claremont Institute, listed speakers including U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The so-called "Digital Statecraft Summit" was organized by the Claremont Institute. The speakers include U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, as well as a who's-who of far-right provocateurs.

Photo: David Vives/Unsplash

Conservative investors, political operatives, right-wing writers and Trump administration officials are quietly meeting in Las Vegas this weekend to discuss topics including China, "woke tech" and "the new slave power," according to four people who were invited to attend or speak at the event as well as a copy of the agenda obtained by Protocol.

The so-called "Digital Statecraft Summit" was organized by the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank that says its mission is to "restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life." A list of speakers for the event includes a combination of past and current government officials as well as a who's who of far-right provocateurs. One speaker, conservative legal scholar John Eastman, rallied the president's supporters at a White House event before the Capitol Hill riot earlier this month. Some others have been associated with racist ideologies.

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Emily Birnbaum

Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.

Doxxing insurrectionists: Capitol riot divides online extremism researchers

The uprising has sparked a tense debate about the right way to stitch together the digital scraps of someone's life to publicly accuse them of committing a crime.

Rioters scale the U.S. Capitol walls during the insurrection.

Photo: Blink O'faneye/Flickr

Joan Donovan has a panic button in her office, just in case one of the online extremists she spends her days fighting tries to fight back.

"This is not baby shit," Donovan, who is research director of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, said. "You do not fuck around with these people in public."

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Issie Lapowsky
Issie Lapowsky (@issielapowsky) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University’s Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing. Email Issie.

Trump wants to spend his final week as president getting back at Twitter and Facebook for suspending him.

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Getty Images

President Trump has been telling anyone who will listen that he wants to do something to strike back at Big Tech in the final days of his presidency, promising a "big announcement" soon after Twitter permanently banned him last week.

In a statement that Twitter has taken down multiple times, Trump hammered usual targets — Section 230, the "Radical Left" controlling the world's largest tech platforms — and pledged he would not be "SILENCED." But at this point, as he faces a second impeachment and a Republican establishment revolting against him in the waning days of his presidency, there's likely very little that Trump can actually do that would inflict long-lasting damage on tech companies.

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Emily Birnbaum

Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.

Politics

Trump got all he needed from Twitter. Now, he still has all the power.

President Trump used Twitter to become the most powerful man in the world. Now, that power is his to keep.

Trump became the most powerful man in the world thanks to Twitter. Now that he's banned, he'll take that power with him.

Photo: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

On Friday night, Twitter announced that it was forever banning President Trump from the digital podium where he conducted his presidency and where, for more than a decade, he built an alternate reality where what he said was always the truth.

There are moral arguments for not doing business with the guy who provoked a violent mob to invade the U.S. Capitol, leaving several people dead. There have been moral arguments for years for not doing business with the guy who spent most of his early mornings and late nights filling the site with a relentless stream of pithy, all-caps conspiracy theories about everything from Barack Obama's birthplace to the 2020 election. There are also moral arguments against tech companies muzzling the president of the United States at all.

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Issie Lapowsky
Issie Lapowsky (@issielapowsky) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University’s Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing. Email Issie.
Protocol | Enterprise

Don’t worry about the cybersecurity fallout of the Capitol breach

Members of Congress can't access classified information on their work computers, and the chances that Wednesday's mob contained a few moonlighting cyberspies are slim.

Any lasting cybersecurity damage from the breach is likely to be limited.

Photo: Louis Velazquez/Unsplash

Among the disasters that visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the fact that the people who infiltrated Congressional offices had unfettered access to IT assets for several hours ranks rather low.

One of the most iconic images of Wednesday's events was a picture of the home screen of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office computer, abandoned in haste after a mob broke into the Capitol building, forcing Congress and staffers to retreat to safer locations. By design, nothing on Pelosi's computer was classified: Members of Congress have to enter a protected area room in the building to view secret documents, as you'll recall from last year's impeachment proceedings when several House Republicans stormed into such a room in protest because they were denied access to documents their leaders could access.

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Tom Krazit

Tom Krazit ( @tomkrazit) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering cloud computing and enterprise technology out of the Pacific Northwest. He has written and edited stories about the technology industry for almost two decades for publications such as IDG, CNET, paidContent, and GeekWire. He served as executive editor of Gigaom and Structure, and most recently produced a leading cloud computing newsletter called Mostly Cloudy.

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