The social media website Twitch has temporarily suspended the account for President Donald Trump after flagging content that goes against the company’s rules of conduct.
“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 representative from the company told Forbes.
During the temporary ban, Trump’s account has had at least two streams removed for violating the site’s conduct standards. One of those streams featured video of him before becoming president, speaking in 2015 when he announced his run for the office. A separate stream that’s also been removed featured comments from a June 2020 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The specific streams that were removed appear to be related to racist comments Trump has made about immigrants in both instances.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us,” Trump said in the 2015 stream that was removed from the site. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.”
In the more recent stream that was removed, Trump makes reference to a tough “hombre,” a word he’s used to describe Latinx immigrants in the past. He used the term recently to describe an imagined scenario wherein an immigrant would, in his words, break into a young woman’s house.
“…a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do,” Trump said during the rally earlier this month. “And you call 911 and they say, ‘I’m sorry, this number’s no longer working.’ By the way, you have many cases like that, many, many, many. Whether it’s a young woman, an old woman, a young man or an old man and you’re sleeping.”
The company explained that it was treating Trump’s Twitch account just like it would any other user’s on the site.
“Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines,” a Twitch spokesperson told The Verge. “We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules.”
Twitch’s decision to suspend Trump’s account comes as other social media sites in recent weeks have taken actions against him. Twitter has flagged a number of tweets from the president, for instance, that contain misleading or dangerous content. And while Facebook has taken a more lenient approach with the president, that site did remove some of his political advertisements for including Nazi imagery within them.
Social media sites haven’t just taken action against the president, but also toward some of his supporters as well. Also on Monday, Reddit took action against more than 2,000 communities called “subreddits,” arguing that they violated the rules. These subreddits represented political leanings from all stripes, but the most prominent to be banned was the subreddit r/The_Donald, a pro-Trump group of users that frequently defends or promotes the president.
That subreddit was removed for breaking rules regarding targeted harassment and hate speech toward others.
“Reddit is a place for community and belonging, not for attacking people. ‘The_Donald’ has been in violation of that,” Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman said in a statement to reporters.
Trump has vowed to take action against social media companies that he claims have censored him.
In late May, Trump signed an executive order suggesting he or his administration may take action in the future against social media sites for daring to fact-check his statements or otherwise take action against his postings, even if it is done because the post does not adhere to the platform’s guidelines — something that’s expected of all users.
“In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online,” Trump’s executive order stated. “This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”