Alphabet-owned YouTube said Tuesday it has lifted restrictions on former US President Donald Trump’s channel, following a suspension of more than two years following the deadly riot on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021.
Meta Platforms had restored Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts earlier this year, while his Twitter account was restored by new owner Elon Musk in November.
“We carefully evaluated the ongoing risk of real-world violence while balancing the opportunity for voters to hear directly from major national candidates ahead of elections.” YouTube said in a tweetreferring to the move.
The video streaming platform banned Trump in 2021 for violating his policy of inciting violence after his supporters stormed the US Capitol as Congress began certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Social media has been an important tool for reaching voters and raising money and could provide impetus for Trump, who will run for president again in 2024. Trump has more than 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube and an additional 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram.
But the former president has yet to make a post on Meta or Twitter’s platforms. Instead, he sticks to his Truth Social platform, the social media platform he founded in late 2021, where he has nearly 5 million followers.
Opponents of Trump’s return point to the posts he posted on Truth Social as evidence that he continues to run the same risk that led several social media platforms to suspend him in the first place.
© Thomson Reuters 2023