Twitch and Reddit Take Action Against Pro-Trump Accounts, YouTube Removes Supremacist Channels, and List of Brands Who Boycott Social Networks Over “Hateful” Content Grows: Under Pressure, Platforms Must Apply Their Own Rules more strictly than before.
“Hate behavior is not allowed on Twitch. In accordance with our rules, President Trump’s channel has been temporarily suspended (…) and the offending content has been removed, ”a spokesperson for Twitch, a streaming platform, said on Monday.
The Reddit discussion platform, which is usually very permissive, has banned a fan forum for the President for violating its hate speech policy.
In the wave of the systemic racism movement in the United States, social networks are facing a renewed pressure to better police exchanges between users and prevent harassment, discrimination and other insulting behavior.
They are particularly in the crosshairs of civil society for their perceived laxity towards Donald Trump.
At the end of May, the latter made remarks considered as incitement to violence against demonstrations of support for George Floyd, an African-American asphyxiated by a white police officer.
Twitter has hidden its message. But Facebook’s refusal to intervene sparked outcry against the dominant network, and renewed outrage at platforms perceived to be accomplices to the often talkative words of the presidential talkative.
Like anyone else
Twitch (an Amazon subsidiary) deleted two comments from Donald Trump when he equated Mexican immigrants with “rapists” during campaign rallies in 2015 and recently in Tulsa.
The platform, originally designed for broadcasting live video games, has gradually opened up to other “broadcasters” who can create their channels, from political figures to artists.
The Facebook boss, on the other hand, makes this exception, and has championed it a lot so far.
But on Friday, Mark Zuckerberg ended up giving ground, promising to better regulate hate speech and hide problematic content, even from politicians.
It must be said that the network giant is facing an advertising boycott campaign, launched in particular by the NAACP, the large organization for the defense of civil rights of African Americans and an anti-Semitism organization, the Anti Defamation League.
Without necessarily claiming it, brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Unilever and Ford have decided not to touch social platforms for a month or two or more.
On Monday, YouTube banned supremacist channels, which said, “repeatedly” according to the platform, that certain groups of people were inferior to others.
This rule, announced a year ago, has resulted in the removal of more than 25,000 channels.
The Reddit decision also proves that the networks are pushed to their limits.
“Up to now we have shown good will to help them preserve their community, with warnings, quarantines and the like,” said the company statement regarding the ban on the president’s fan group. .
This social network was founded 15 years ago, as a large forum, on the principle of unbridled freedom of expression, without safeguards.
As dominant platforms like Facebook and Twitter have tightened their hate content rules, part of the far right in the US has ended up on Reddit or 4chan platforms.
But for about two years, Reddit has been undertaking a major cleanup to get rid of so-called “toxic” groups and users.
In early June, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the platform and husband of tennis champion Serena Williams, resigned from the board of directors and asked the company to hire a black candidate to replace him.