YouTube bans Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast channel
YouTube on Friday said it banned the channel of Steve Bannon’s popular War Room podcast, after it repeatedly violated the Google-owned platform’s rules.
The ban came hours after the former White House chief strategist had Rudy Guiliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, on the program following the violent insurgency at the US Capitol earlier this week. The riot left five people dead as rioters breached the building to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as the next US president.
“In accordance with our strikes system, we have terminated Steve Bannon’s channel ‘War room’ and one associated channel for repeatedly violating our Community Guidelines,” a YouTube spokesman said in a statement. In addition to the War Room channel, YouTube said it took down another one associated with Bannon.
Under YouTube’s rules, three strikes within a 90-day period result in permanently being kicked off the platform. The first strike comes with a one-week ban from posting content. The second strike comes with a two-week ban.
The ban comes as social platforms have cracked down on misinformation and content that could incite violence following the storming of the Capitol. Twitter on Friday banned Trump permanently from its platform, while Facebook has banned him indefinitely.
YouTube said Bannon’s violations were related to a policy tweak the company announced Thursday. The platform said it would now issue a strike on any account that posts videos making false claims about election fraud.
The company first announced the policy update against election fraud claims last month but allowed a grace period before offenders were penalized with strikes. The grace period was set to expire on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20 but that deadline was moved up after the attack on the Capitol.
YouTube said it issued two strikes against Bannon’s channels on Thursday for a pair of videos that violated the platform’s rules, though the company didn’t specify which videos were taken down. Bannon couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Thursday’s strikes were added to another one issued in November, after Bannon called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. In the video, Bannon says the heads of Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be displayed on pikes at the White House “as a warning to federal bureaucrats.”