YouTube suspends Trump's channel after violating policy on inciting violence


U.S. President Donald Trump salutes as he boards Air Force One at Valley International Airport after visiting the U.S.-Mexico border wall, in Harlingen, Texas, U.S., January 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's YouTube said on Tuesday it has suspended Donald Trump's channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week's assault on the U.S. Capitol by the president's supporters.

Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, DC.

Trump's channel is now prevented from uploading new videos or livestreams for a minimum of seven days, which may be extended, Youtube said in a statement.

The company has also indefinitely disabled comments under videos on the channel.

The suspension of Trump's channel came after comments that he made at a news conference, which was streamed on the platform on Tuesday morning, the company said.

Youtube's action against the president comes after U.S. civil rights groups told Reuters that they were set to organize an advertiser boycott against the company if it does not remove Trump's channel.

Supporters of Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, trying to halt the certification by Congress of President-elect Joe Biden's election win.

Trump, who has challenged the validity of Biden's victory without producing evidence, initially praised his supporters but later condemned the violence.

Lawmakers were forced to flee as the building was mobbed by protesters who overwhelmed security forces. Five people died in the violence, including one Capitol Police officer.

After the incident, Twitter and Facebook removed Trump's accounts and have been eliminating content supporting last week's assault, while Amazon.com Inc suspended Parler, a social media platform favored by many supporters of Trump, from its web hosting service.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Additional Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Kim Coghill)

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