After more than two years, YouTube has lifted its suspension on Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former U.S. president who was booted from major internet platforms in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Starting today, the Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and can upload new content,” YouTube said in a statement Friday. “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.”
Trump — who has repeatedly and falsely claimed he won the 2020 election — is seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 U.S. presidential election.
YouTube added that Trump’s “channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube.” The channel currently has 2.64 million subscribers. The most recent videos uploaded to it (on Jan. 12, 2021) are clips from the far-right OANN (One America News Network) coverage a Trump press conference on the border wall in Texas.
On Jan. 12, 2021, YouTube said it determined that Trump’s channel violated the site’s policy against inciting violence and the video giant suspended his channel for an indeterminate period. YouTube’s suspension of the ex-president’s channel came less than a week after he praised and encouraged a mob of supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in order to disrupt the certification of President Biden’s election victory. Shortly afterward, then-CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki said the platform would lift the freeze on Trump’s channel only once it determined that “the risk of violence has decreased.”
Last fall Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s Twitter account, and more recently Meta allowed him back on Facebook and Instagram. Trump has claimed he will remain exclusively on Truth Social, the Twitter-copycat app launched about a year ago.
Trump Media & Technology Group, parent company of Truth Social, is being investigated by the Justice Department and the SEC over financial deals related to TMTG’s plan to merge with special purpose acquisition company Digital World Acquisition Corp. Federal prosecutors reportedly looked at potential money laundering violations by TMTG in connection with $8 million in loans.