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Streaming site Twitch suspends Trump’s account for ‘hateful conduct’

The Amazon-owned platform said the president’s account has been banned temporarily for violating its policy

President Trump looks at his phone during a roundtable with governors on the reopening of small businesses. (Alex Brandon/AP)

SAN FRANCISCO — Popular gaming streaming site Twitch has temporarily banned President Trump from its service for “hateful conduct,” adding to a growing number of social media sanctions against the president’s comments in the past several weeks.

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon and used primarily as a place for professionals and amateurs alike to stream video games while thousands watch them play, said Trump was told when he joined the site last year that politicians must follow all its guidelines and that it does not make any exceptions for public figures or newsworthiness. (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed,” Twitch spokesperson Brielle Villablanca said in a statement.

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The president’s account, which appears to have mostly been used as a campaign tool, was suspended for two broadcasts. One was of Trump’s rally this month in Tulsa. The other was a recently posted video of a campaign rally in 2015.

During that rally, Trump called some people entering the country from Mexico “rapists” and said they were “bringing crime.”

In the Tulsa broadcast, he said, “Hey, it’s one o’clock in the morning and a very tough, I’ve used the word on occasion, hombre, a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh said in a statement that people should sign up for campaign texts to hear from the president.

Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him.

Trump has recently run up against the bounds of what social media companies will allow on their sites. So far five of his tweets have received warning labels from Twitter in the past several weeks. Though Facebook has so far left his comments untouched, the company said Friday it will start removing politicians’ posts that incite violence or attempt to suppress voting after facing significant backlash for its handling of Trump’s posts. Social media app Snapchat also said it would stop promoting Trump’s account earlier this month, though it let his account remain on the app.

Reddit on Monday also closed down a controversial subreddit supporting Trump on Monday after years of complaints about language glorifying violence and misogyny on the forum.

Twitter’s decision to label Trump’s tweets was two years in the making

Trump’s Twitch account now shows a message that says, “Sorry. Unless you’ve got a time machine, that content is unavailable.” The company’s policy against hateful conduct says any material that “promotes, encourages, or facilitates discrimination, denigration, objectification, harassment, or violence” based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or several other characteristics is prohibited.

Correction: The recently posted video was from a campaign rally in 2015. Twitch originally said it was from 2016.