National

YouTube extends ban on Trump channel ahead of inauguration

YouTube extends ban on Trump channel ahead of inauguration

SAN FRANCISCO — Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday confirmed it extended a ban on new video being added to US President Donald Trump’s channel due to the potential for inciting violence.

The weeklong suspension of uploading or streaming live video to Trump’s channel had been set to lift on the eve of President-elect Joe Biden taking the oath of office.

“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, the Donald J. Trump channel will be prevented from uploading new videos or livestreams for an additional minimum of seven days,” YouTube said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“As we shared previously, comments will continue to be indefinitely disabled under videos from the channel.”

Trump’s access to the social media platforms he has used as a megaphone during his presidency has been largely cut off since a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC on January 6.

Operators say the embittered leader could use his accounts to foment more unrest aimed at Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

YouTube last week suspended Trump’s channel “for at least seven days” and removed a video for violating its policy against inciting violence, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts after the deadly Capitol riot.

Facebook suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following the violent invasion of the US Capitol, which temporarily disrupted the certification of Biden’s election victory.

In announcing the suspension, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Trump used the platform to incite violence and was concerned he would continue to do so.

Twitter went a step further by deleting Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite platform. It was already marking his tweets disputing the election outcome with warnings.

Trump also was hit with suspensions by services like Snapchat and Twitch.

Trump, who has not appeared in public for a week, broke days of silence on Tuesday with a pre-recorded farewell video address uploaded to a White House channel at YouTube.

Trump for the first time asked Americans to “pray” for the success of the incoming Biden administration — a change of tune from weeks spent persuading his huge number of Republican followers that the Democrat cheated in their election battle.

Trump has yet to personally congratulate Biden on his win or invite him for the customary cup of tea in the Oval Office.

The supporters of Trump who attacked the US Capitol were “provoked” by the president and “fed lies,” Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 following a speech by the president outside the White House in which he repeated his false claims to have won the election.

At least five people died in the mayhem.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached Trump on January 13 for “inciting insurrection” and he faces a potential trial in the Senate after he leaves office on Wednesday.