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YouTube removes Trump content, blocks new uploads for a week

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YouTube also says it is indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump's channel due to safety considerations.

Hong Kong

YOUTUBE removed new content from US President Donald Trump's channel, citing concerns about the potential of violence following the riot at the US Capitol last week.

Mr Trump's channel now has its first strike against it, barring it from uploading new content for at least seven days, YouTube said in a tweet, without providing details on the offending videos.

The popular streaming site - owned by Alphabet's Google - also said it was indefinitely disabling comments on the channel due to safety considerations.

Other social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, have already taken steps to suspend the departing president, permanently in the case of Twitter and until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden for Facebook and Instagram.

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Online platforms have struggled to strike a balance between a growing backlash against their sites in the wake of the violence last week - which many deemed to have been incited and organised through social media posts - and opposing criticism from free-speech advocates about imposing censorship.

Twitter most recently banned over 70,000 accounts it deemed dedicated to distributing QAnon conspiracy theories, while Facebook said it was blocking the "stop the steal" refrain used by those who argue the November 2020 presidential election was illegitimate.

YouTube had been more hesitant to suspend Mr Trump's account than other social media services, citing a three-strikes policy for policing content. The first strike restricts new uploads for at least a week, while a second strike within 90 days of the first would cause a two-week suspension. With a third strike, Mr Trump's channel would be deleted.

Following YouTube's announcement, Gab, a less-restrictive social networking site popular with the far right, said it was working to back up Mr Trump's videos and would post them on its own platform. BLOOMBERG

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