Even as former President Donald Trump leaves office, his bans on social media platforms will remain, with Twitch on Wednesday removing Trump’s account and suspending him from the video streaming service indefinitely.
Twitch froze Trump’s account the day after the Capitol riot—but the account was still live and viewers could watch his past streams, which were mostly rebroadcasts of his speeches and rallies.
Twitch took Trump’s suspension one step further Wednesday by removing his account from the platform entirely, ensuring he can’t appeal the ban or create another account.
A Twitch spokesperson said the company decided to ban him permanently because “the President’s statements continue to be interpreted as calls to action, and we are taking this action to remove the potential for harm to our community and the general public.”
Twitch also banned the popular PogChamp emote earlier this month after the face of the emote, Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, encouraged further “civil unrest” following the riot.
“Twitch has clear rules that prohibit hateful conduct, harassment, or incitement of violence on our service, and we consider off-service events when making enforcement decisions. However, the events of the past weeks have highlighted a gap with respect to rhetoric that encourages violence, regardless of whether or not it was directly streamed on Twitch,” a Twitch spokesperson said in a statement.
Twitch has now joined Twitter, Shopify and Snapchat in permanently banning the former president in the wake of the siege on the Capitol building earlier this month. Facebook has also indefinitely banned the former president, and COO Sheryl Sandberg it’s unlikely the company will allow him back. For the last two months, Trump has used his megaphone on social media to promote unfounded conspiracy theories about election fraud, which critics say directly contributed to his supporters storming the Capitol.
Politicians have increasingly turned to gaming platforms as potent digital messaging tools to reach younger audiences. In October, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar played the pandemic-hit Among Us on Twitch, drawing in an unprecedented 700,000 viewers. Biden’s presidential campaign created his own island on Nintendo’s Animal Crossing.