Google-owned YouTube will allow former President Donald Trump’s account to post new videos as of Friday, lifting restrictions put in place following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.
The decision means that Trump’s accounts on three major platforms from which he was suspended or restricted are now restored, in time for his expected campaign for the 2024 election. Facebook owner Meta and Twitter had both earlier decided to reinstate Trump’s accounts, after suspending them for fear he would incite further violence.
In 2021, then-YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Trump’s restrictions would be lifted when it believed the risk of real-world violence had subsided. The account was not terminated from the site, but it could not upload new videos under the restrictions.
“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,” YouTube’s Vice President of Public Policy Leslie Miller said in a statement. “This channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube.”
YouTube said its trust and safety teams analyzed factors such as government security alerts and violent rhetoric across different platforms to determine when the risk of real-world violence had decreased. The company also noted that Trump’s posts on YouTube tend to differ from those on other platforms, often including reuploads from news networks.
As of Friday, Trump’s YouTube account has more than 2.6 million subscribers.