The streaming video service owned by Google will not allow Trump to add new videos for a minimum of seven days, it said in a Twitter post late Tuesday night. It will also disable comments on his entire channel for an indefinite period of time.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump said social media companies were making a “catastrophic mistake” and doing “horrible thing for our country and to our country” after penalizing him.
He also defended his remarks about the Capitol riot as being “totally appropriate.”
Twitter on Friday banned Trump from its site, which had been a favorite communication tool of the president. He regularly tweeted more than a dozen times a day.
Twitter cited the potential for future violence stemming from the president’s tweets, particularly concerning the inauguration of President elect Joe Biden.
Social media companies have been cracking down on Trump’s posts for the past year, labeling and fact checking posts that contained misinformation about the coronavirus and the 2020 election. But after the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, which Trump did not immediately condemn, the mainstream social media companies decided the risk was too great to keep Trump online.
Facebook suspended the president’s account at least until the inauguration, while Twitter’s ban is permanent. YouTube was the final holdout of the major social networks. YouTube removed one of Trump’s videos just last week on the day of the riot at the Capitol. In the video, which Facebook also removed, Trump repeated false claims about the election and told rioters “We love you. You’re very special.”
YouTube issues “strikes” against users for violating policies. This first strike means no new videos can be added for seven days. A second strike within 90 days carries a two weeks suspension, and a third strike means the channel is banned.
“After careful review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to the Donald J. Trump channel and issued a strike for violating our policies for inciting violence,” YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi said in a statement Tuesday.
Trump’s YouTube account is still visible and his past videos are still able to be viewed. Six videos were uploaded to the president’s YouTube account Tuesday.
The suspension from YouTube leaves Trump with few options to use a mainstream social media megaphone. As for more niche platforms, Gab, a platform popular with the far-right, is still online. But Twitter alternative Parler was knocked offline early this week when Amazon dropped it from using the tech giant’s servers.
(Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Facebook and YouTube could still allow the president access to his account again starting as early as next week.
Trump’s animosity toward tech companies has become particularly heated in the past year after Twitter and Facebook started labeling his posts. He has repeatedly called for an Internet liability shield law, Section 230, to be revoked, presumably as a punishment to the companies.
Section 230 shields tech companies from being sued for what their users post on the site. Politicians from both sides of the aisle generally agree it needs to be reformed, but open Internet advocates say revoking it could have a chilling effect on free speech on the web.
Gerrit De Vynck contributed to this report.