On Wednesday 13 January, YouTube became the latest platform to suspend President Donald Trump.
YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc, has been under considerable pressure over the past few days, as civil rights groups were set to organize an advertiser boycott against the company if it did not remove Trump’s channel.
The platform held out longer than the other main platforms, but has now suspended Trump's YouTube channel for 7 days. The final straw appears to have been comments Trump made at a news conference, which was streamed on the platform on Tuesday morning.
In practice, YouTube's suspension of Trump's channel means much of the existing content is still available, but the channel is temporarily prevented from uploading new content and streaming live streams for 7 days. YouTube has also removed some recent content. It has also disabled comments across the channel indefinitely, citing safety concerns.
The moves by social media platforms follow the storming of the Capitol building by Trump's supporters while it was in session certifying the recent Presidential election. YouTube's decision is announced on the day that the House of Representatives is due to vote on impeachment proceedings against the outgoing president of the US for a second time. It is unprecedented for a President of the US to be impeached twice.
Google suspends political ads
In other developments on the same day, Google announced that it will be suspending all political ads and blocking all ads referencing the US Capitol siege from tomorrow (January 14) until at least 21 January, i.e. the day after Biden's inauguration.
Google's suspension includes all ads referencing candidates, the election, its outcome, the upcoming inauguration, the latest impeachment process, violence at the US Capitol or future protests on these topics.
The action forms part of Google's 'sensitive event' policy, which was introduced to help manage the spread of misinformation around political elections and the health crises.
You can read about the steps taken by other leading platforms, here.