Trump was suspended from the platform a few days after the riot for posting content that incited violence. YouTube removed some of the videos on Trump’s channel and restricted comments, although the company said it would lift the suspension when it felt “the risk of violence has decreased.” The last video on his YouTube page is a 46-minute speech from December 2020, during which he complained about the “rigged” election.
But as of Friday, Trump’s channel “is no longer restricted and the ability to upload new content is restored,” YouTube’s vice president of public policy Leslie Miller told 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 said the channel will be subject to all of YouTube’s policies on content moderation. But many social media platforms give leeway to posts they deem “newsworthy,” meaning considered to provide more to public interest than to cause harm.
With the suspension lifted, Trump can now post videos and buy ads ahead of the 2024 election.
Trump has millions of followers on his mainstream social media accounts, including 2.6 million on YouTube—and that’s less than a tenth of the followers he has on Facebook or Instagram. On Twitter, he has even more.
Experts were already worried that letting him back onto mainstream social networks would increase the flow of disinformation ahead of the 2024 election. OnYouTube, he’ll have greater ability to purchase targeted ads.
Don’t forget, he was suspended from all of these platforms in the first place for sharing false information about the 2020 election and January 6. And prior to his suspensions, he had already gotten reprimanded for sharing misinformation about Covid-19 and election fraud. In fact, misinformation on Twitter dropped 73 percent after Trump was suspended from the platform.
This post has been updated.