YouTube Shutters Two Channels Belonging To Steve Bannon After Election Theft Claims

By 01/11/2021
YouTube Shutters Two Channels Belonging To Steve Bannon After Election Theft Claims

YouTube, which remains one of the sole major platforms on which President Trump still operates a live account, has taken down two channels belonging to former White House chief strategist and prominent alt-right figure Steve Bannon.

The bans resulted from claims made by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani during a stream on Bannon’s War Room channel on Friday, where Giuliani claimed that the election had been stolen, The Mercury News reports. The War Room channel, which distributed episodes of Bannon’s podcast of the same name, counted 330,000 subscribers prior to its shuttering. YouTube also banned a second Bannon channel for violating its three-strike rule dubbed Trump at War — A Film by Stephen K. Bannon, per The Mercury News.

YouTube said it removed a video from Bannon’s channel back in November for making threats against people — presumably referring to when he called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray, notes The Mercury News. While that marked Bannon’s first strike, YouTube took down two more videos on Friday, resulting in a total of three strikes — and the removal of both channels from the platform.

In the wake of a siege last week on the U.S. Capitol, YouTube said that it would begin to issue channel strikes (which come with one-week suspensions from posting or livestreaming) to any creators that engaged in election misinformation.

That said, YouTube has faced internal criticism for not responding strongly enough to the rhetoric that resulted in a siege of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. A newly-established workers’ union by parent company Alphabet released a statement last week claiming that YouTube had emboldened the growth of fascism in the United States, and condemning the service for not removing Trump’s channel altogether.

Other platforms that have indefinitely banned Trump include Facebook, Snapchat, Twitch, and Twitter.