Activists call on YouTube to get rid of Trump channel

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San Francisco (AFP)

An activist group on Tuesday called on YouTube to join with other social media platforms to dump U.S. President Donald Trump, threatening an advertising boycott campaign.

A StopHateForProfit campaign demanded that the Google-owned video-sharing platform remove Trump’s verified channel because it gives Trump the ability to “continue to spread false information” about the validity of the election he lost in November.

“If YouTube doesn’t agree with us and joins other platforms in banning Trump, then we’ll go to the advertisers,” said Jim Steyer, managing director of Common Sense Media, a campaign organizer.

The Trump channel’s homepage featured a month-long video of Trump questioning the voting process that had some 5.8 million views.

The free channel itself had 2.77 million subscribers.

Last week, Facebook suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following a violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a crowd of his supporters, which disrupted President-elect Joe Biden’s certification of election victory.

Twitter went further by deleting Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite megaphone.

Trump has also been hit with suspensions of services like Snapchat and Twitch.

Announcing the suspension last week, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Trump had used the platform to incite violence and feared he would continue to do so.

Before the presidential election on November 3, the social network stepped up its efforts to fight disinformation campaigns and suspended many accounts, groups and pages with violent or hateful content.

Facebook said on Monday it was taking similar precautions ahead of Biden’s inauguration as president on Jan.20, using the same teams to tackle disinformation and content that may incite violence.

Content containing the phrase “stop the steal” will be removed from Facebook and Instagram, according to executives Monika Bickert and Guy Rosen.

Facebook also maintains a pause on all ads in the United States on politics or elections, which means no ads from politicians, including Trump.

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