Alphabet-owned YouTube said on Tuesday it lifted restrictions on former US President Donald Trump’s channel, following a more than two-year suspension after the deadly Capitol Hill riot on January 6, 2021.
Meta Platforms had reinstated Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts earlier this year, while his Twitter account was restored in November by new owner Elon Musk.
“We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, while balancing the chance for voters to hear equally from major national candidates in the run up to an election.” YouTube said in a tweet, referring to the move.
The video streaming platform banned Trump in 2021 for violating its policy of inciting violence after his supporters stormed the US Capitol when Congress began to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Social media has been a key vehicle for reaching voters and fundraising and could give a boost to Trump, who will make another run for the presidency in 2024. Trump has more than 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube, and another 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram.
But the former president is yet to make a post on the Meta-owned platforms or Twitter. Instead he has stuck 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 messages he has posted on Truth Social as evidence that he continues to pose the same risk that led various social media platforms to suspend him in the first place.
© Thomson Reuters 2023