YouTube reinstates account of ex-US president Donald Trump after two-year ban, as Trump prepares new presidential campaign
Former US president Donald Trump published material on his reinstated YouTube and Facebook accounts on Friday, more than two years after the accounts and others were suspended in the wake of the invasion of the US Capitol building by rioters on 6 January, 2021.
Both posts included a short video clip of CNN announcing Trump’s win as president in 2016, with the message, “I’M BACK!”
His previous Facebook message dated from 6 January, 2021 and referenced the Capitol riots, while Trump’s previous YouTube video dated from 12 January, 2021 and relates to immigration policy.
The accounts, along with Trump’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, were suspended indefinitely after YouTube owner Google and Facebook and Instagram parent Meta decided they posed the risk of inciting violence.
In March 2021, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the account could be reinstated if the threat of “real-world violence” decreased.
She added at the time that “right now… there still is that elevated risk of violence”.
YouTube said in a statement that it had “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”.
The company said the channel would continue to be subject to its policies.
1/ Starting today, the Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and can upload new content. 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.
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) March 17, 2023
Trump announced last year that he would again run for office in the 2024 US elections.
Social media was a critical element of Trump’s successful 2016 campaign.
Trump has yet to post on Twitter, which competes with Trump’s own Truth Social platform, which launched in early 2022.
Trump has nearly 5 million followers on Truth Social, along with 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube, 87 million on Twitter, 34 million on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram.