The YouTube account which belongs to former President Donald Trump was restored more than two years after its suspension.
Trump has been restricted from posting videos since the protests at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, after which YouTube and other social media firms asserted that he had incited violence. The account is “no longer restricted and the ability to upload new content is restored,” YouTube Vice President of Public Policy Leslie Miller said in a statement provided to Axios.
“We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, balancing that with the importance of preserving the opportunity for voters to hear equally from major national candidates in the run up to an election,” Miller commented. “This channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube.”
YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, will not restore videos on the Trump account removed from the platform after January 6 for purportedly inciting violence. Trump, who is a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, will now be permitted to buy YouTube advertisements.
A number of social media firms have likewise lifted previous suspensions on Trump. Meta, which controls Facebook and Instagram, ended Trump’s suspension two months ago and remarked that the penalty imposed after January 6 was “an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances.” The company nevertheless vowed to enforce “certain guardrails” on Trump in the future.
Content moderators defended their controversial move, insisting they did not want to interfere in debate surrounding elections and that the decision had been approved by an oversight board. Meta said that Trump faces “heightened penalties for repeat offenses” for past behavior on the platforms, which will also “apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol.”
Twitter CEO Elon Musk reinstated Trump on the platform at the end of last year following an informal survey the billionaire entrepreneur conducted with his followers. Trump, who launched a social media company called Truth Social after he left office, had stated that he will not return to Twitter even if Musk were to reinstate his account. Trump is also contractually required to post all content to Truth Social and wait six hours before sharing the content on other platforms.
“I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on Truth,” Trump previously commented. “The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter.”
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Trump has more than 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube, while his account on Twitter has some 87.4 million followers.
Musk previously told advertisers that he acquired Twitter to foster a “common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.” He has expressed a desire to refrain from promoting what he deems to be radical content on the site and vowed that the social media platform would not become a “free-for-all hellscape” where users could breach the law with impunity or splinter into “echo chambers.”