Former presidential advisor and right-wing expert Steve Bannon had suspended his show from Twitter and an episode removed from YouTube after investigating violence against FBI Director Christopher Wray and the government's leading pandemic expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Bannon spoke to co-host Jack Maxey about what Trump should do in a hypothetical second term. He suggested we fire Wray and Fauci but then went on and said, “I'd actually like to go back to the old days of Tudor England, I'd put the heads on pike, right, I'd put them on the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. "
This may seem like an exaggeration at first – you can say "we want your head on a record" and not really suggest that they actually behead anyone. But the conversation went on and seemed more serious than it first appeared:
Maxey: Just yesterday was the anniversary of the hanging of two Tories in Philadelphia. These were Quaker businessmen who, if you will, lived with the British while they occupied Philadelphia. These people were hung up. We used to do that with traitors.
Bannon: This is how you won the revolution. Nobody wants to talk about it. The revolution wasn't a garden party, was it? It was a civil war. It was a civil war.
Regardless of whether this is viewed as just nostalgia for the good old days of mob justice or an actual call to bring those days back, the moderation exchanges on YouTube and Twitter seem to have been enough to keep the couple's makeshift broadcast tough hold true.
Twitter has confirmed that the account has been "permanently banned" (i.e., it can be appealed but not automatically restored) for violating the rule against glorifying violence.
Election breaks on social media
YouTube removed the episode from Steve Bannon's War Room on Wednesday afternoon after being brought to their attention. A representative from the platform said, "We removed this video because it violated our guidelines against incitement to violence." We will continue to be vigilant as we enforce our policies in the post-election period. "
Online platforms struggle to find the line between under- and over-use. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and others have taken various measures, from the preventive deactivation of functions to the tacit ban on hashtags. Facebook today defeated a group of more than 300,000 members that acted as an amplifier for misinformation about the election.
While the platforms have been strong at least in some ways at identifying and isolating misinformation, video platforms are more difficult to do. Just minutes ago, Trump went to YouTube to explain a number of unfounded conspiracy theories about mail-in voting, but the platform cannot closely check the president live and shut down his channel. Video spreads more than text-based networks because of the time it takes to review it before it is captured and tagged.