Civil rights groups are threatening Google’s YouTube with a national boycott if it does not remove President Donald Trump’s official channel.
“The #StopHateforProfit campaign is demanding YouTube take down Trump’s verified YouTube channel, which is giving Trump the opportunity to continue spreading false information that the U.S. election was stolen,” Jim Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media and one of the organizers of the civil rights campaign, said in a statement to USA TODAY. “If YouTube does not agree with us and join the other platforms in banning Trump, we’re going to go to the advertisers next.”
The Stop Hate for Profit campaign aims to rid social media platforms of hate speech, white supremacy, misinformation and disinformation. It led a boycott of Facebook over the summer following the death of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer.
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Some 1,100 advertisers stopped buying ads on Facebook and Instagram during the month of July, with a few advertisers pulling their spending through the end of the year.
YouTube is the lone holdout among the nation’s leading social media companies. Facebook and its app Instagram, Twitter and Snap blocked Trump after he incited supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol last week.
Trump’s verified YouTube channel has 2.76 million subscribers. YouTube could not be immediately reached for comment.
“I am not sure what is more distressing, the fact that platforms like Facebook have waited four years to so-called ‘act’, now that Trump is almost out of office, or that YouTube has still failed to ban Trump,” Steyer said. “Either way you look at it, these platforms are far too often on the wrong side of history and now the time has come to regulate them.”
Trump had a harsh message of his own for tech companies Tuesday.
“I think that Big Tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country, and I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They’re dividing and divisive,” Trump told reporters.