Twitch suspends President Trump’s account for “hateful conduct”

Donald Trump

Livestreaming platform Twitch announced on Monday it was suspending President Donald Trump’s channel for “hateful conduct.”

While the president’s social media accounts have faced intense scrutiny over the last few weeks, this marks the first suspension of one of the president’s social media accounts.

The move to suspend President Trump’s Twitch account is a result of two recent streams that Twitch says violated the platform’s policies. The first stream featured a 2015 campaign event, in which President Trump alleges that Mexico has been sending drugs and criminals across the US border.

The second stream, taken at the president’s recent Tulsa rally, includes the president speaking about a “very tough hombre” breaking into a woman’s house at 1 am.

A Twitch spokesperson explained in a statement: “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.”

It remains unclear just how long the president’s suspension will last, though. At this time, President Trump’s Twitch account is hidden behind a message reading: “Sorry. Unless you’ve got a time machine, that content is unavailable.”

Cindy Otis, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab told the New York Times Twitch’s suspension of President Trump’s account may lead to other companies considering similar actions.

“You have to sort of wonder, if smaller platforms start taking more aggressive or harder action on what they consider harmful content or on the disinformation side — will that end up pressuring the larger platforms to do more as well?” Otis questioned.

While Otis’ questions are certainly valid, Twitter has recently begun taking some action against President Trump’s often controversial tweets. Last week, the company restricted a tweet from the president and hid it behind a warning label.

According to Twitter, the tweet violated its policies against abusive behavior. Before that, Twitter tagged a selection of the president’s tweets for violating its policies on manipulated media and glorifying violence.