Elf Cosmetics apologized 3 weeks after an attempted pivot to Twitch that featured no Black creators

The first stream on Elf's Twitch channel was heavily criticized for only featuring non-Black creators.
The first stream on Elf’s Twitch channel was heavily criticized for featuring only non-Black creators.

  • Elf Cosmetics apologized three weeks after a controversial Twitch stream.
  • The cosmetics brand attempted to pivot to streaming but didn’t include Black creators.
  • One Black creator said she was snubbed despite getting the most community support on Twitter.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Elf Cosmetics is the first major makeup brand to launch a Twitch channel, but the creator-marketing pivot to streaming didn’t go as planned. The popular drugstore line, an acronym for “Eyes, Lips, Face,” issued an apology on Twitter for not including Black creators and other underrepresented demographics among the influencers featured in its launch.

“At e.l.f., we firmly embrace diversity and inclusion and we commit that our talent and partners will reflect our commitment in future streams,” the brand said. It also solicited suggestions and feedback.

The apology, posted more than three weeks after the launch, was met with continued fallout. The first event on the channel on May 9 featured multiple guests and segments to promote the brand’s products, and Elf has since streamed additional conversations between creators, including one with a Black creator.

Elf Cosmetics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Black creator who received community support said she was ‘snubbed’ by the brand

Before the launch of the “twitch.tv/elfyou” channel, the brand asked its Twitter following to volunteer their “favorite beauty influencers who game.” A Black Twitch streamer who goes by Milady Confetti posted four of her looks underneath the tweet and received the most engagement by far, with 1,000 likes.

But when Elf launched its stream, commentators were quick to point out there were no Black creators. Confetti wrote that she was “snubbed” despite getting the most fan support.

“That was so hurtful, then only working with white women in my field, heck in the same gaming category as me. Why be so cruel,” she wrote in response to the brand’s apology tweet. Her response got more likes than the apology tweet.

Confetti did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

A creator of color who isn’t known for beauty was invited

A former Twitch streamer posted that Elf reached out to her and invited her onto the stream following the backlash against the launch. But according to Sleepy Mia, she no longer streams and has “never been known” for doing makeup looks, identifying another area where viewers said the brand could have done more research.

“I’m so confused why @elfcosmetics reached out to me to stream with them instead of working with the slew of Black women and POC who called them out,” Mia wrote.

A drag performer criticized Elf’s stream

Elf was also criticized by Twitch streamers like It’s Lucille, a drag performer who posted a Twitter thread outlining what she said were other issues with the launch stream. She pointed out that Elf’s launch stream kept using the word “females” to describe makeup consumers, despite there being men and nonbinary makeup wearers.

“For over three hours, you’ve only used the term ‘females’ when talking about your consumers and audience,” Lucille said. “When you finally mention non-binary people, you don’t even use the right tense. We aren’t ‘a non-binary.’ Non-binary is an adjective, not a noun.”

Lucille also noted that Elf still worked with the makeup influencer Jeffree Star. Insider’s Amanda Krause said in an analysis that makeup customers judged brands based on more than just the product itself.

“Now, beauty fans say they’re heartbroken watching their favorite companies seemingly choose sales and publicity over allyship,” Krause wrote. “And experts argue that brands should cut ties with problematic influencers – regardless of their fame – to back up their words with action.”

To read more stories like this, check out Insider’s digital culture coverage here.

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What is ‘Among Us?’ The wildly popular social deduction and deception game, explained

Among Us screenshot 3
The cross-platform game “Among Us” gained traction during the pandemic, when popular Twitch streamers caught onto it.

  • “Among Us” is an online strategy game that can be played on a PC, smartphone, or Nintendo Switch.
  • In “Among Us,” you play as crewmates trying to complete tasks, while one “Imposter” tries to sabotage you.
  • Playing “Among Us” takes more thought than raw gaming skill, making it perfect for both casual and hardcore gamers.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

“Among Us” is a multiplayer video game that was originally released in 2018, but gained massive attention in 2020. Centered on a group of “Crewmates” trying to complete tasks while an “Imposter” plots to kill them, “Among Us” is one of the most popular games around today.

Here’s everything to know about “Among Us,” including how it works, why it’s so popular, and how you can start playing.

What is ‘Among Us’ about?

If you’ve ever played social-deduction games like “Mafia” or “Werewolf,” you’re already familiar with the premise of “Among Us.”

At the start of each game, players are split into two teams: “Crewmates” and “Imposters.” Most players will be crewmates, who are responsible for completing various tasks on the map. Three or fewer players will be Imposters, players that look the same as Crewmates but are actually trying to kill them.

Among Us screenshot 2
An example of a task: Here, Crewmates have to carefully swipe a card along a card reader.

Once teams are decided, players are given free reign to run around the map, either completing their tasks or sabotaging and killing the Crewmates.

If a Crewmate finds a dead body or presses a button in the middle of the map, every living player is called into an “Emergency Meeting.” This is where your deduction and acting skills come into play, as the players must now debate on who’s an Imposter and should be ejected from the map.

Among Us screenshot 5
Players discuss who they suspect is an “Imposter” before ejecting them.

The Crewmates win the game by successfully ejecting all the Imposters, or by completing all their tasks. The Imposters win by killing Crewmates until there’s an equal number of Crewmates and Imposters, or by sabotaging a critical component (think an oxygen tank or nuclear generator) that the Crewmates can’t fix fast enough.

How ‘Among Us’ became popular

“Among Us” was released in 2018 on iPhone and Android to quiet reception. But it made a huge splash in 2020 when popular Twitch streamers began playing it during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing “Among Us” to the attention of millions of new players. This sudden spike in popularity led to new features and maps, and it has inspired countless internet memes.

The straightforward premise and controls make it easy to play and appeal to new and veteran gamers alike. Since the conflict in the game is largely social, players rely more on deduction and deception than precision or timing. It also helps that “Among Us” supports cross-platform play, meaning that you can play it with your friends even if you don’t all have the same console.

among us twitch
“Among Us” is one of the most popular games on streaming services like Twitch.

The social aspect of the game makes it entertaining to watch as well as play, which is part of how it became popular on Twitch. It’s kind of like watching a cartoon-y, faster-paced version of “Clue.” The simple-but-cute character designs don’t hurt, either.

How to play ‘Among Us’

“Among Us” is available to play on multiple platforms. PC gamers can download it on Steam, while mobile gamers can get their fix from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It’s also available on the Nintendo Switch.

Related Article Module: ‘Among Us’ is the biggest game of 2020, but don’t play it on the Nintendo Switch

“Among Us” isn’t available yet for any Xbox or PlayStation consoles, but it’s scheduled to be released on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 in 2021.

How to update ‘Among Us’ on your PC, smartphone, or consoleYes, ‘Among Us’ is cross-platform – here’s how to play it with all your friends‘What is Twitch?’: Here’s what you need to know about the world’s leading live-streaming platform for gamersYes, ‘Minecraft’ is cross-platform – here’s how to play with your friends on any system

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3 creators and a lawyer share how social media bans work, and the best way to safeguard your account

fitness influencer
Accidentally playing copyrighted music in the background of your video can put your account at risk.

  • When influencers or creators are banned for known or unknown reasons, it can impact their income.
  • Three creators and a lawyer shared their experiences with social media bans.
  • They advised avoiding using third-party content and being cautious while livestreaming.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Getting banned on social media isn’t just a nuisance for influencers and creators. Oftentimes these platforms are a huge part of their livelihood – and the longer they’re unable to create content and share it with their audience, the more money they lose out on.

Bans are often instituted by a platform for reasons including harassment, bullying, or copyright or policy violations, but they can also happen for unknown reasons or by accident.

They’re also surprisingly common: Twitter suspended roughly 925,000 accounts during the first half of 2020 alone, and, in June 2019, Instagram conducted a “meme page purge,” removing accounts with a combined reach of 30 million followers. Those pages’ creators lost out on tens of thousands of dollars in placements, sponsorships, and advertising income.

Three creators and a lawyer shared how to avoid getting removed from a platform.

Know the risks of using third-party materials

A 30-year-old influencer who goes by the name Produced By Blanco has been making music professionally since 2018. He’s worked with artists signed to major labels including Atlantic, Roc Nation, Sony, Columbia, Republic, and Universal, has 12,500 followers on Instagram, and has driven millions of views on YouTube.

© Produced By Blanco
Produced By Blanco.

Blanco told Insider he avoids terms-of-use violations, like sharing unauthorized content, by only sharing his own content or content made by artists he’s worked with.

“It’s the safest route,” Eric Lauritsen, a Los Angeles-based music industry attorney who’s represented clients who’ve been banned from platforms like Twitch and TikTok, told Insider. But creators don’t have to follow Blanco’s all-or-nothing approach as long as they understand the risks.

“To be safe, make it a policy not to use material owned by third parties,” he said. “But, if you intend to use third-party material anyway, you may be OK doing it, but at a minimum, accept the fact that a third-party will claim the revenue or your content is at risk of removal. Some parties may go further though and may want to pursue a claim against you for statutory damages,” he added, citing the landmark Napster case in 2000, where Metallica sued for $100,000 in damages per song illegally downloaded on the site.

Most social media platforms treat the use of copyrighted material the same, whether it’s by accident (for example, someone else’s song playing in the background of your livestream) or on purpose (like blatantly stealing it). And saying “no copyright infringement” won’t protect you, either.

Control as much of your content as possible

Matthew Pettito, 18, has 3.8 million followers on TikTok, 192,000 followers on Instagram, 26,000 followers on Twitch, and is sponsored by energy-drink company Bang Energy. He first downloaded TikTok in July 2019 and said he had one million followers by June 2020.

© Matthew Petitto
Matthew Petitto.

He began livestreaming on TikTok to start making money through the TikTok Creator Program (per the Creator terms, you need at least 1,000 followers to be eligible to monetize your livestream). While hosting a TikTok livestream one night, Pettito was also on Omegle, a free app that facilitates chats with strangers online.

“There are no community guidelines, so it’s not uncommon for people on the website to be saying or doing vulgar things,” Pettito told Insider. “I was on track to make $1,000 that night, and all of a sudden, I was removed from the app and banned for 48 hours.” He lost the $1,000 due to the vulgar comment being picked up on his livestream.

Pettito recommended other influencers use caution while streaming live “because you can’t edit or take back anything,” he said. Some users even record livestream content and upload it to other platforms, so whatever you say or do can take on a life of its own – for better or worse.

Consider hiring an attorney if you have a significant amount of money at stake

Dakota Elder, 27, had his YouTube account banned in 2019 and his TikTok account banned in 2020. At the time, he said he had 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and 500,000 followers on TikTok.

© Dakota Elder
Dakota Elder.

He told Insider he still doesn’t know why either account was banned and didn’t hear back from either platform when he asked why. Elder was on track to make about $2,500 in revenue the following month from both accounts.

“There’s going to be a lot of variation depending on the terms of use of the site and the user’s activity before the ban,” Lauritsen said about why platforms may not reveal the reason behind the ban. “The site may not even be obligated to provide a reason.”

Elder now has over 4.4 million followers on his new TikTok profile but chose not to recreate his YouTube channel. Despite being permanently banned from both, he created the new TikTok account by just signing up again.

“Making the new account was smooth as butter,” he said. “I had no problems, and I haven’t had an issue since the first video on the new account.” It was easy to sign back up again, he said, although he couldn’t access the old account, followers, or content.

Taking the revenue hit was likely the most cost-effective option for Elder, but for creators with a significant amount of money at stake, consulting an attorney could be worth it.

“I have seen scenarios where clients had music taken down from streaming services, reached out, did not receive a response, then hired me to follow up and I was able to get information,” Lauritsen said. “There is an extra air of legitimacy using an attorney to at least help get you more information.

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A Twitch preacher who told a Muslim child he was ‘sentenced to hell’ was banned from the platform. Now he wants to take legal action.

drwitnesser ban muslim twitch
DrWitnesser preaching in his YouTube videos

  • Joseph Henning, who goes by DrWitnesser online, wrote on Twitter that he wants to pursue legal action against Twitch.
  • The Amazon-owned live stream platform indefinitely suspended the Fortnite preacher in January.
  • Hennig goes into games of Fortnite and preaches that they “need to repent for their sins.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

DrWitnesser, the online alias of internet pastor and streamer Joseph Hennig, announced on Twitter that he intends to pursue legal action against Twitch.

Hennig, a member of the strict Seventh-Day Adventist Church Christian denomination, started streaming on the Amazon-owned platform in April 2020 under the DrWitnesser moniker. Influenced by the popularity of the mustached alpha bro DrDisrespect, Henning joining random Fortnite groups and preached the word of god, whether his teammates wanted to hear it or not. Dressed in a black button-up and an orange tie, his image is eye-catching if not dramatic.

Over the next five months, he amassed over 140,000 followers on the platform, who would watch him tell random teenagers and strangers not to say the lord’s name in vain or that they need to repent for their sins. His TikTok grew alongside his Twitch fame, reaching over 350,000 followers in just the latter half of the year.

In July of 2020, Hennig received his first suspension for seven days on Twitch. The action came after telling a young Muslim person in his game that “if you were to die in your sins today, you would be sentenced to hell.”

In a Twitter video, Hennig says that sometime after his first ban, his Twitch account did receive another 7-day suspension for currently unknown reasons.

An indefinite ban would come Hennig’s way in January 2021, for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or group of people” according to a message he received from Twitch. In a now-deleted tweet, Hennig wrote “Twitch has yet again showed they have no tolerance for a #Christian streamer who preaches what the #Bible teaches. They are a bias, hypocritical organization that shoves their agenda down everyone’s throats.”

After his Twitch ban, the preacher moved over to controversial platform DLIve before transitioning to YouTube where he has 14,000 subscribers. His clips would still gain the attention of critics, with YouTuber Kurtis Conner sharing a video about the DrWitnesser streams to his 2.9 million subscribers.

“My guess is he plays Fortnite to get to these kids when they are young and impressionable and scared,” Conner says in the video. “It’s really gross, it’s really f— weird man.”

On Sunday, Hennig announced on Twitter that he is planning on suing Twitch for “unlawful termination of my Twitch account on the basis of religious discrimination.” The screenshot he shared features the Superior Court of California and the county of San Francisco, which currently does not have a lawsuit on file under Hennig or the DrWitnesser name. The streamer also tweeted that he is looking to find the “right firm for legal representation.”

Hennig did not respond to a request for comment. 

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A Twitch streamer made $16,000 filming himself asleep and letting viewers disturb him with loud noises

Asian Andy YouTube
Asian Andy made $16,000 in just one night on his Twitch livestream.

  • Some influencers are making up to $16,000 on Twitch “sleep streams.” 
  • Asian Andy enabled text-to-speech recognition so viewers could play music and issue commands. 
  • Other sleep influencers include Alex Shannon, who travels the world to sleep in luxurious locations.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Making money in your sleep sounds too good to be true, given many of us find it hard enough to earn a living while we’re awake.

But many influencers are jumping on a new trend that’s rising in popularity – the “sleep stream.” 

Among the most well-known sleep streamers is Asian Andy.

The 26-year-old from Los Angeles made $16,000 in just one night on his Twitch livestream – although he didn’t get much sleep in the process.

Like many other influencers, Andy set up text-to-speech recognition for his live stream, meaning every time there was a donation, music played and the message was read aloud.

A lot of viewers used their messages to get Alexa to play loud music, imitate a dog barking, or make his alarm clock go off.

One recurring theme in Andy’s August livestream was viewers telling him someone was at the window, leading to over-the-top reactions.

Andy himself was shocked at his viewers’ generosity.

“Thank you so much,” he said at the end of his Twitch live stream, which he later posted to YouTube. “I used to drive [an] Uber for $16 an hour.”

Twitch largely started as a gaming platform, with some users making as much as $200,000 a year.

It now has a Twitch Affiliate Program for those who are serious about making a career out of gaming – even congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has used Twitch to increase voter participation and fundraise for charities.

Andy, who’s known for his antics including tearing off his shirt in Starbucks and whenever someone says “Ascend,” has over 40,000 subscribers on Twitter and Instagram, and one million on YouTube.

Alex Shannon
Alex Shannon has been traveling the world to sleep in some of the most luxurious locations.

However, he’s not the only influencer making money with his eyes closed.

Ice Poseidon made $5,000 in eight hours for trying to sleep in 2017, according to VICE. Like Andy, he used text-to-speech recognition so his viewers could disrupt his sleep.

There are others whose content is devoted solely to sleep – like Alex Shannon, the “world’s first sleep influencer.”

Since 2018, Shannon has been traveling the world to sleep in some of the most luxurious locations.

Some have also made use of their sleep-related quirks.

Canadian YouTuber Tyler Krause, who goes by pillowtalkTK, recorded himself talking and walking in his sleep while his girlfriend reacted.

With all the content out there, it looks like sleep influencing won’t be going to bed anytime soon.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discusses the GameStop and Robinhood trading drama on Twitch

alexandria ocasio-cortez aoc
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside the U.S. Capitol.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke about the GameStop and Robinhood trading drama on a livestream Thursday night.
  • Ocasio-Cortez said she would be joined by two guests to offer insight and updates on the matter.
  • Earlier in the day, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her criticism of Robinhood’s decision to restrict some trading.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following days of Reddit-fueled trading of volatile stocks and the subsequent trading freezes imposed by the fee-free stock trading app, Robinhood, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that she will discuss the recent developments on the livestream video service, Twitch, Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. EST.

Ocasio-Cortez initially said she would be joined by Chamath Palihapitiya, CEO of venture capital firm Social Capital, and Twitter user TheStockGuy to offer insight and updates on the evolving situation. As of nearly 10:00 p.m. ET, she had been joined by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Alexis Goldstein, and TheStockGuy.

Earlier Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her criticism of Robinhood’s move to block some stock purchases. She called the decision unacceptable and said more information was needed. As a member of the Financial Services Committee in Congress, she said she would support a hearing on the matter if necessary.

“Inquiries into freezes should not be limited solely to Robinhood,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “This is a serious matter. Committee investigators should examine any retail services freezing stock purchases in the course of potential investigations – especially those allowing sales, but freezing purchases.”

Sen. Ted Cruz then retweeted his support of her statement, writing “fully agree.” Ocasio-Cortez fired back that she would be happy to work with Republicans on the matter where there is common ground, but accused Cruz of trying to have her murdered three weeks ago during the Capitol insurrection. 

“Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed,” she tweeted. 

Ocasio-Cortez has previously used Twitch as a way to encourage voter turnout, livestreaming herself playing the popular video game Among Us.

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Twitter and Facebook both banned Trump from their platforms. Here’s why that doesn’t violate the First Amendment – or any other laws

twitter trump
Activist Mike Merrigan holds a piñata shaped like the Twitter logo with hair to look like U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest outside of Twitter headquarters on May 28, 2020 in San Francisco, California.

After months of escalating tensions between President Donald Trump and social media companies, Twitter and Facebook finally decided this week that the president had crossed a line too far.

On Wednesday, after Trump incited a mob of his supporters, thousands of them violently stormed the US Capitol, where Congress was voting to certify the results of the election, in an attempted insurrection that left five dead.

Though Trump posted a video briefly denouncing the violence, he then continued to use social media platforms to praise his supporters and once again repeat debunked conspiracy theories about the election.

Twitter and Facebook, both of which have policies against inciting violence, undermining democratic processes, and spreading election misinformation, decided that – given the impact that the president’s comments were having and continue to have – they would no longer let him use their platforms.

Twitter suspended Trump’s personal account, @realDonaldTrump, permanently, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.” Facebook and Instagram suspended Trump “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

Read more: Google and Apple are banning Parler from their app stores for allowing violent content in the wake of attempted insurrection that left 5 dead

Within hours of Twitter’s ban on Friday, Trump tried to bypass it by tweeting from the official presidential account, @POTUS. He posted a series of tweets railing against the social media company for “banning free speech” and taking aim at one of his favorite targets, Section 230. (Twitter quickly removed the tweets.)

But Trump’s implication – that Twitter somehow violated his First Amendment right to free speech – is a complete misunderstanding of what the First Amendment says.

Here’s why Twitter and Facebook, like other social media companies, have the right to ban Trump, and why Trump and other far-right politicians often take it out on Section 230.

What is the First Amendment?

The First Amendment to the US Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” [emphasis added].

In other words, it bans the government from infringing on free speech (with some limited exceptions).

What does that mean for social media companies?

Not much.

“The First Amendment is a constraint on the power of government. It doesn’t apply to Twitter,” said Daphne Keller, an attorney and internet law expert who leads the program on platform regulation at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center, adding: “Twitter is not a state actor.”

Why are Trump and his allies so mad then?

Trump, his allies, and others who have been hit with account suspensions, had warning labels applied to their posts, or had their advertising revenue shut off by companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube may disagree with those companies’ rules or approach to enforcing them – or they may just be mad that they can’t get their message out or make money from their audience or advertisers.

But legally, there’s very little they can do.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 gives legal protections to “interactive computer services” – like social media companies – that: 1) prevents them from being held liable for content posted by their users (with some limited exceptions), and 2) allows them to moderate content on their sites as they see fit.

“Section 230 makes it relatively easy for platforms to go to court and win saying ‘we have the right to enforce whatever policies we want,'” Keller said. But even without Section 230, she said, Twitter would win if Trump sued “based on their own First Amendment right to set editorial policy on the platform.”

So, why do Trump and his allies still want to get rid of Section 230?

Trump and many far-right politicians have repeatedly claimed (without evidence) that social media companies are systemically biased against them, and they believe repealing or curbing Section 230 would allow them to use the government to deny Section 230’s legal protections to platforms that aren’t “politically neutral.”

Ironically, that’s exactly what the First Amendment prohibits, which legal experts quickly pointed out when Trump tried to use executive orders to accomplish that last summer. (Still, Trump loyalists in the Federal Communications Commission tried to implement it anyway.)

What would happen if they did repeal Section 230? 

Ignoring for a second that it’s legal for social media companies to be “biased” when enforcing content rules, right-wing politicians’ criticisms of Section 230 tend to ignore several key facts about who social media currently benefits – and who it would benefit if they repealed the law.

First, the evidence has consistently shown that conservatives tend to enjoy some of the widest reach and engagement on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube – or at the least, conservatives have failed to produce evidence that their views are being silenced or their reach is being throttled.

Second, if social media companies lost the legal protections offered by Section 230, they would be more, not less likely to remove questionable content from their sites, because they’d (rightfully) be fearful of getting sued.

That purge could very likely hurt far-right accounts – something Facebook itself has implicitly acknowledged, according reports from The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

And increased legal liability could also make it harder for new competitors, like “alternative” social media sites Parler, Gab, and MeWe – where Trump supporters have flocked due to their lax approaches to regulating content – to get off the ground in the first place.

Read the original article on Business Insider

All the actions big tech companies have taken against Trump’s social media accounts following the US Capitol siege

US Capitol siege
The rioters during the Capitol siege.

  • The US Capitol siege by pro-President Donald Trump rioters on Wednesday has set off a wave of actions from big tech companies.
  • Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have removed a video of Trump telling rioters “we love you, you’re very special” but “go home in peace.”  
  • Twitter and Facebook have both locked Trump’s respective social media accounts. 
  • Here’s a list of all the actions big tech companies have taken against Trump in response to the Capitol seige.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US Capitol siege by President Donald Trump supporters on Wednesday has set off a range of responses and actions from big tech companies, including deleting the infamous Trump response video and temporarily freezing Trump’s social media accounts.

Prior to the historic Capitol siege that left four people dead, according to CBS News, and the Capitol building ransacked, the biggest action tech companies like Facebook and Twitter took to moderate Trump was to add fact-checking lines on some of his baseless claims regarding topics like mail-in ballot fraud.

Read more: The siege of the US Capitol was a disaster for congressional cybersecurity – and experts say Congress will likely have to wipe all its computers and rebuild from scratch

However, following the riots, more big tech platforms have taken serious and actionable steps towards temporarily quieting Trump, although people calling to ban the president from social media platforms say these short-term freezes may not be enough.

See all of the actions various companies have taken in response to the Capitol siege:



YouTube has removed a video of Trump disputing the 2020 presidential election results while telling rioters “we love you, you’re very special” but “go home in peace.” 

Farshad Shadloo, YouTube spokesperson, told Insider in an email on Wednesday that the video violated YouTube’s policies surrounding “content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 US.”

“We do allow copies of this video if uploaded with additional context and sufficient educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA) value,” Shadloo continued.

Read more: A pro-Trump super PAC made illegal contributions to the president’s reelection campaign, a watchdog group says

Following this removal, on Thursday, YouTube announced it would give channels a “strike” if its videos violated the social media platform’s policies. Following the first strike, a channel will be banned from posting for a week. A second strike within 90 days will result in a two-week ban. The third and final strike, if done within 90 days, will result in a permanent ban. 

The strike policy announcement came out of the “disturbing events that transpired yesterday,” a YouTube spokesperson told Insider.


Facebook headquarters

The same Trump video that YouTube removed was also removed by Facebook on Wednesday. According to a tweet by Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, the video removal decision was made “because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”

On Thursday, Facebook went one step further and decided to freeze Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, wrote in a post.

“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”



Snapchat has also “locked” Trump’s account following the Capitol siege, a Snap spokesperson told Insider on Thursday

This isn’t the first action Snap has taken against Trump. In June, the social media platform stopped promoting Trump’s account in its Discover section after he called for violence against protestors amid demonstrations following George Floyd’s death.

“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” a Snap spokesperson told Insider in June. “Racial violence and injustice have no place in our society and we stand together with all who seek peace, love, equality, and justice in America.”


Shopify app phone

On Thursday, Shopify removed stores with ties to Trump, including shop.donaldjtrump.com and trumpstore.com.

Read more: Biden has been certified as president. 5 experts predict how his administration could crackdown on the advertising and tech industries.

Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence,” a Shopify spokesperson said in a statement to Insider on Thursday. “Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”


twitch logo

Twitch has also frozen Trump’s account, and will make further decisions about his account after Biden is inaugurated, The Verge reported.

Previously, Twitch placed a temporary two-week ban on Trump’s account due to “hateful conduct” policy violations, a Twitch spokesperson told Insider in June.


trump twitter

On Wednesday, Twitter removed the same one-minute video that YouTube and Facebook dismissed. Shortly after, the social media platform locked Trump’s Twitter account and removed three tweets – including one with the aforementioned video – and replaced the posts with “this Tweet is no longer available” messages. As a result, Trump could either delete the tweets to gain access to his account after 12 hours or remain frozen out of his Twitter account.

On Thursday, Trump deleted the three tweets in question, and the tweets now read: “This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules.” Twitter did not confirm with Insider the time the tweets were deleted, but if the original statement still holds, the 12-hour countdown until Trump has access to his Twitter account has already begun.

However, the social media platform isn’t ruling out more serious actions in the future.

“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” Twitter said in a statement. 

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