Amid US President Donald Trump's second impeachment and ahead of Joe Biden's swearing-in as US president, Google has decided to suspend political ads containing any reference to "impeachment, inauguration or protests at the US. Capitol." The suspension is already in effect from Thursday morning.
Google said in a statement on Wednesday, "We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, sensitive events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information. Beyond this, we have long-standing policies blocking content that incites violence or promotes hate and we will be extremely vigilant about enforcing on any ads that cross this line." Google’s statement also referred to its “longstanding Dangerous and Derogatory Content policy,” and stated, "Given the events of the past week, we are extremely vigilant about enforcing on any ads that might reasonably be construed as crossing this line." In an email to advertisers, Google also added that there is a policy in place, wherein advertisers will not be able to run ads referencing candidates, the election, its outcome, the Biden inauguration, the presidential impeachment process, violence at the US Capitol or any future planned protests regarding those topics.
Google, meanwhile, suspended outgoing President Donald Trump’s YouTube account for at least a week and formally warned the White House. Trump has also been banned permanently on Snapchat, Twitch, Reddit, and Twitter, while Instagram and Facebook banned him indefinitely.
This also comes at a time when Trump became the first US President to be impeached twice by the House with 232-197 votes in favour of impeachment. Even as Trump said that the 25th Amendment poses "zero risk" to him, the House charged him with "incitement of insurrection", after the shocking US Capitol siege. The House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also moved a bill seeking Trump's ouster through the 25th Amendment- which can be invoked by US Vice President Mike Pence and other cabinet members - but it was blocked by the House Republicans. Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought Pence's response within 24 hours, but VP Pence refused to oust Trump.
It is my somber responsibility to sign the Article of Impeachment against President Trump passed in a bipartisan vote by the House of Representatives a short time ago. https://t.co/xlTntjjIMn— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 13, 2021
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Thursday has put out a long thread of tweets on Thursday to explain why his platform decided to ban United States President Donald Trump from the microblogging site. Dorsey said that does not celebrate or feel pride in banning the President but had to do so only after giving a clear warning.
I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. I also recognize it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will better our effort, and push us to be what we are: one humanity working together.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Trump supporters stormed US Capitol in name of protest against the "rigged election" claim made by Donald Trump. Violence and destruction ensued soon after, with Trump supporters vandalising and defiling the chambers of the Capitol building. Trump had given a speech from the White House, urging protesters to march on the Capitol after making false claims of electoral fraud. Later, after the siege, Biden condemned the violence, urging Trump to 'stop this carnage' and 'do his Constitutional duty'. Trump, later gave a speech telling rioters to 'go home in peace', before formally conceding the election.
Moreover, calling his speech 'totally appropriate', Trump also called the clampdown on his social media accounts as a 'catastrophic mistake'. He also lambasted the Democrat-controlled Congress for moving articles of impeachment, saying it was causing 'tremendous anger' and that the move was 'absolutely ridiculous'.