United States: Airbnb and YouTube mobilized against violence during Biden’s inauguration

Digital platforms are making their arrangements. Airbnb has canceled all reservations planned in Washington next week, an unprecedented measure that shows the concern of digital companies, determined not to facilitate possible excesses and violence during the inauguration of future US President Joe Biden.

“In addition, we will prevent any new reservations in Washington and its suburbs during this period”, the accommodation reservation specialist announced on Wednesday January 13 in a press release. Like the businesses that have barricaded themselves and concrete blocks placed in the American capital, the tech giants are increasing the safeguards as January 20 approaches, the day when Joe Biden will take office.

Google just put political ads on hold, including “all announcements referring to the indictment [du président sortant Donald Trump], the investiture or the demonstrations of the Capitol “. The invasion of Congress by supporters of the billionaire Republican during the certification of the presidential results last Wednesday shocked the country and tarnished its image internationally.

“The events of the past week have been chilling to watch”Google boss Sundar Pichai said in an online forum hosted by Reuters on Wednesday. When the reporter asked him if his company had been taken aback by the violence, the leader referred to the efforts of his teams to counter disinformation around the US elections.

Last week, Facebook indefinitely suspended the profile of Donald Trump, accused of encouraging his supporters. Snapchat, Twitch and even Twitter ended up joining him, citing the risk of further violence. The Head of State thus lost his main channel of communication, his Twitter profile with 88 million subscribers.

YouTube was the last to follow, with a week-long suspension from the President’s channel announced on Tuesday. Google’s video platform faced increasing pressure from civil society. But Sundar Pichai declined to say whether the measure would be final. “Comments have been put on hold and we will re-evaluate our position based on what we see”, he said.

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