U.S. civil rights groups will organize an advertiser boycott against Alphabet's YouTube if it does not remove President Donald Trump's channel, the groups told Reuters.
Jim Steyer, one of the organizers of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign which led over 1,000 advertisers to boycott Facebook in July, said the groups are demanding YouTube take down Trump's verified YouTube channel, which has 2.76 million subscribers.
YouTube is the last major tech company that has not banned Trump from posting on its platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Snap Inc have all blocked Trump after supporters of the president stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, leading to five deaths. (Critics of the president insist he incited the violence at a rally shortly before the Capitol siege, and via social media in the days before it unfolded.)
On the right, the social media company Parler is without a home after losing its platform via Amazon. The CEO is alleging his life is being threatened since last week's riot at the Capitol.
Meanwhile, allies of the president are claiming censorship and decrying nakedly political action by the social media titans. Some, like conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, have gone so far as to cancel social media accounts in sympathy with the president.
Trump's YouTube channel gives him the opportunity to continue spreading false information that the U.S. election was stolen, Steyer said.
On Tuesday, Trump's YouTube channel posted eight new videos, including one in which Trump told reporters "I think Big Tech has made a terrible mistake" by blocking him.
Neither YouTube nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment.
YouTube has told the groups it is considering the demands but has yet to act, Steyer said.
"If YouTube does not agree with us and join the other platforms in banning Trump, we're going to go to the advertisers," he added.
"We join in with our coalition partners and ask that YouTube act decisively to help stop the spread of hate by shutting Trump's account down,” said the NAACP in a statement to Reuters.
The NAACP, Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change along with Steyer's group Common Sense Media, are among the organizers of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which had recruited major advertisers including Verizon Communications and Unilever to pull their ads from Facebook over hate speech
Despite the widespread boycott, Facebook posted record revenue during its third quarter but agreed to create a role for a head of civil rights.
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