YouTube is doling out "strikes" to channels posting new videos that violate the platform's policies by making "false claims" as a part of an effort to quell the spread of disinformation "due to the disturbing events that transpired" Wednesday when pro-Trump mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The video platform announced its new policy would go into effect immediately Thursday, saying in a series of tweets channels that receive a strike are temporarily suspended from posting or live streaming, and channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube.
"We apply our policies and penalties consistently, regardless of who uploads it," YouTube assured in a statement. The site had previously instituted a policy to combat falsehoods being spread on its platform that had a "short grace period" keeping strikes from being given out for that purpose until Inauguration Day. "Over the last month, we’ve removed thousands of videos which spread misinformation claiming widespread voter fraud changed the result of the 2020 election, including several videos President Trump posted to his channel," the statement noted.
YouTube's announcement came hours after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement that President Donald Trump was banned from his account "indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks" through President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration due to Trump's "attempts to "undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power" and "provoke further violence." Twitter had announced Wednesday that Trump was banned from tweeting for at least 12 hours for violating its policies when refusing to condemn the rioters in a video message. Before the president's tweets were deleted by Twitter, the social media platform had added the disclaimer, "This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can't be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence."
"Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech," Zuckerberg added in his statement. "But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government."
The social media site founder continued, "We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."