A Donald Trump meme in the guise of Pepe the frog, emblem of the alt-right movement. - DR

The battle between web giants and Donald Trump is intensifying. Twitch temporarily suspended the president's account for hateful behavior, while the usually very permissive Reddit chat platform banned a fan forum for the president for breaking its hate speech policies.

“Hate behavior is not allowed on Twitch. In accordance with our rules, President Trump’s channel has been temporarily suspended (…) and the offending content has been removed, ”said a spokesperson for the streaming platform - mainly video games, but who has been diversifying lately). "We have banned (the section) r / The_Donald, because this community has repeatedly hosted and supported content that violates our first rule", on the promotion of hate, for its part explained Reddit in a press release . This controversial subreddit was particularly popular with Donald Trump's most fervent supporters. This is where many controversial alt-right memes starring Pepe the frog, in particular, were born, which were sometimes retweeted by Donald Trump community manager Dan Scavino.

Pressure from advertisers

In the wave of the large-scale movement against systemic racism in the United States, social networks are facing renewed pressure from advertisers to better police exchanges between users and prevent harassment, discrimination and other insulting behavior. They are particularly in the crosshairs of civil society for their perceived laxity towards the republican tenant of the White House.

In late May, Donald Trump made remarks deemed to incite violence against demonstrations of support for George Floyd, an African-American, asphyxiated by a white police officer.

Twitter has hidden this message. But Facebook's refusal to intervene sparked outcry against the dominant network, and renewed indignation against the platforms perceived as accomplices to the often inflammatory words of the voluble president.

Twitch (an Amazon subsidiary) deleted two specific comments from Donald Trump that violated his policies. The first date of his inaugural campaign rally, in 2015, when he had assured that the Mexican immigrants brought drugs and were "rapists". The second is of the same order and was pronounced during the recent meeting in Tulsa, for its re-election campaign.

Trump, a user like "another"

The platform, first designed for broadcasting live video games, has gradually opened up to other "broadcasters" who can create their channels, from political figures to artists. When the president created his channel last year, Twitch let his team know that "like anyone else, politicians must accept our terms of use and our rules for the community." We make no exceptions for political content or in the name of public interest, ”said the company.

The public interest in knowing the words of candidates and elected officials, in order to form their own opinion, is the preferred argument of Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, to defend his more permissive approach. But on Friday, the network giant ended up giving ground, promising to better regulate hate-promoting ads and to mask problematic content, even from political figures.

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