YouTube, one of the social media holdouts, has suspended Donald Trump for 7 days. Despite the ongoing purge, fears of further violence is growing.
There has been a growing purge on various platforms in an effort to curb right wing extremism online. Outgoing president, Donald Trump, widely seen as the ringleader in fueling the violence, has himself finally been hit with some significant deplatforming. As we reported earlier, Trump has been banned from Shopify and Facebook. In addition to that, Trump has been permanently banned from Twitter as well.
One notable exception is YouTube. As of yesterday, we noted how the platform had taken no action against Trump. YouTube said that YouTube operates on a three strikes system. If a user gets 3 strikes in 90 days, then they can be suspended from the site. Still, some human rights organizations are calling on YouTube to do what so many other platforms have done: ban Trump because he instigated the attack in Washington.
Now, it seems that YouTube is having a bit of a change of heart on the matter. It appears that the site has now suspended Trump for 7 days. The reason is that Trump violated the rules about inciting violence. From CBC:
Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube said on Tuesday it has suspended Donald Trump’s channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters.
Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, D.C.
Trump’s channel is now prevented from uploading new videos or livestreams for a minimum of seven days, which may be extended, YouTube said in a statement.
Of course, as we’ve been reporting, the purge isn’t exclusive to Trump himself. Other high profile right wing Trump supporters are also facing the ban hammer on various platforms. In another development, Parler, a small platform known for supporting right wing communications, is facing its own backlash. Apple and Google both banned the app in their respective app stores for not taking down extremist material. Amazon, for its part, followed suit by disconnecting Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS). That led to problems for the administrator to keep the site up and fully functional.
While some have criticized the various platforms of not acting more quickly, government itself has been even more slow in taking action. After all the bans and purges, Congress has finally impeached Trump a second time. The moment does, indeed, mark a moment in history where Trump has become the first US president in history to be impeached twice. For many, this cements Trump as being the worst president in American history as well. From CBC:
U.S. President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for a historic second time Wednesday, charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.
With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, egged on by the president’s calls for them to “fight like hell” against the election results.
Ten Republicans fled Trump, joining Democrats who said he needed to be held accountable and warned ominously of a “clear and present danger” if Congress should leave him unchecked before Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
It was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in modern times, more so than Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.
The Capitol insurrection stunned and angered lawmakers, who were sent scrambling for safety as the mob descended, and it revealed the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power.
In a heavily scripted video, Trump issued a video calling for no further violence. This in spite of several video’s he’s previously made supporting the rioters when he professed his love for them. In another video, he said that this is the beginning of a long journey.
Over top of everything else, the FBI and the DOJ have said that the actions recently seen is just the tip of the iceberg. They recently announced that they will be carrying through a massive probe that involves hundreds of suspects. From Yahoo!:
In their first public comments since a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, officials from the FBI and the Department of Justice said hundreds of arrests were likely in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, in which five people died, including a police officer.
“In six days we have opened over 160 case files, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Steven D’Antuono, FBI assistant director in charge of the Washington, D.C., field office, said at a Tuesday news conference. “The significance of this investigation is not lost on us. This is a 24/7, full-bore, extensive operation into what happened that day.”
“Since our call for tips, videos and pictures, we have received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media, which is absolutely fantastic,” D’Antuono said. “We are scouring every one for investigative and intelligence leads.”
D’Antuono asked the public to continue sending information about those who took part in the melee by calling 1-800-CALLFBI or submitting photos and videos to FBI.gov/uscapitol.
“I want to stress that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach,” D’Antuono said, adding, “Agents from our offices will be knocking on your door if we found out that you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol.”
Under fire over apparent lapses in preparedness for the chaos that followed President Trump’s Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D’Antuono said the FBI had developed intelligence that some individuals were planning to travel to the D.C. area “with intentions to cause violence.”
Some of that evidence is being publicly examined on various reports. One of the stories involves GPS data obtained by a hacker. It shows where various Parler users were at the time of the terrorist attack – many of whom were in the government building being penetrated by Trump supporters. from Gizmodo:
At least several users of the far-right social network Parler appear to be among the horde of rioters that managed to penetrate deep inside the U.S. Capitol building and into areas normally restricted to the public, according to GPS metadata linked to videos posted to the platform the day of the insurrection in Washington.
The data, obtained by a computer hacker through legal means ahead of Parler’s shutdown on Monday, offers a bird’s eye view of its users swarming the Capitol grounds after receiving encouragement from President Trump — and during a violent breach that sent lawmakers and Capitol Hill visitors scrambling amid gunshots and calls for their death. GPS coordinates taken from 618 Parler videos analyzed by Gizmodo has already been sought after by FBI as part of a sweeping nationwide search for potential suspects, at least 20 of whom are already in custody.
The siege on January 6, which lasted approximately two hours, resulted in five deaths, including that of a Capitol police officer whom authorities say was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher and later succumbed to his injuries. Windows were smashed, tables overturned, and graffiti scrawled and scratched into the walls of the 220-year-old building—some calling for the murders of journalists sheltering in place nearby.
Gizmodo has mapped nearly 70,000 geo-located Parler posts and on Tuesday isolated hundreds published on January 6 near the Capitol where a mob of pro-Trump supporters had hoped to overturn a democratic election and keep their president in power. The data shows Parler users posting all throughout the day, documenting their march from the National Mall to Capitol Hill where the violent insurrection ensued.
For many of these rioters, they might as well have just handed authorities their name, address, and a full confession of the crimes they committed. Some of those insurrectionists are already finding out just how overwhelming the evidence against them truly is. In one particularly epic video posted to Twitter, defense attorneys working for the “Lectern Guy” pretty much admitted to just how overwhelming the evidence is:
Still, despite all of this, there is growing concern that there could be even more terrorist attacks in the near future. From CTV:
The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.
An internal FBI bulletin warned, as of Sunday, that the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. Investigators believe some of the people are members of extremist groups, the officials said. The bulletin was first reported by ABC.
“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the bulletin said, according to one official. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
As a result of fears of additional terrorist attacks, security is tightening in the US. From NBC:
House Democrats briefed about security preparations ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration said Tuesday that there is an “increased threat” to the Capitol — and that officials are working to combat it.
A member who was on the call late Monday with U.S. Capitol Police and other security officials described it to NBC News as “chilling and horrific.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., told MSNBC on Tuesday: “There isn’t much that I can share, but what I think is important for the public to know is that there is an increased threat. What we experienced Wednesday could potentially be repeated, and there are proper steps being taken.
“There is more coordination with national security and federal law enforcement to make sure that the Capitol is not breached, that members of Congress and their staff and everyone who is going to be at the Capitol will be safe the next, you know, 10 or so days until the inauguration,” she said.
Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., provided some details to CNN, saying Tuesday morning: “They’re talking about 4,000 armed patriots to surround the Capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in. They have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don’t.
“So this is an organized group that has a plan,” he said. “They are committed to doing what they’re doing because I think, in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they’re talking about 1776, and so this is now a contest of wills. We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped. And, unfortunately, that includes the president. Which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office.”
So, generally, the dates being looked at is essentially anything between the 16th right up to Inauguration day (20th). The question at this stage is whether or not these threats will come to fruition. If they do come to fruition, to what extent will they? If the threat of blood staining the streets wasn’t sufficiently taken seriously before, it is being taken seriously now. We can only hope that these threats simply fizzle and that the threats of further terrorism stay as simple Internet chatter.