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.

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