YouTube restores privileges to Donald Trump’s account

YouTube restores privileges to Donald Trump’s account

YouTube restores privileges to Donald Trump's account

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YouTube suspended former President Donald J. Trump’s account on the platform six days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The video platform said it fears Mr Trump’s lies about the 2020 election could lead to more real-world violence.


YouTube, which is owned by Google, reversed that decision on Friday, allowing Mr. Trump to upload videos to the popular site again. The move came after similar moves by Twitter and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.

“We have carefully assessed the continued risk of real-world violence, while balancing the chances of voters also hearing from leading national candidates in the run-up to an election,” YouTube said on Twitter Friday. Mr. Trump’s account will have to comply with the site’s content rules like any other account, YouTube added.

After false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen circulated online and helped fuel the Jan. 6 attack, social media giants suspended Mr Trump’s account privileges. Two years later, the platforms began to relax their content rules. Under Elon Musk’s ownership, Twitter rolled back many of its content moderation efforts. YouTube recently fired members of its trust and safety team, leaving one person in charge of setting political misinformation policies.

Mr Trump announced in November that he was seeking a second term as president, sparking deliberations at social media companies over whether to allow him back on their platforms. A few days later, Mr. Musk polled Twitter users on whether he should reinstate Mr. Trump, and 52% of those polled said yes. Like YouTube, Meta said in January that it was important for people to hear what political candidates are saying ahead of an election.

The former chairman’s reinstatement is one of the first major content decisions YouTube has made under its new chief executive, Neal Mohan, who took the top job last month. YouTube also recently relaxed its profanity rules so that creators who used profanity at the start of a video could still make money from the content.

YouTube’s announcement on Friday echoes a trend for the company and its parent company Google to make polarizing content decisions after a competitor has already taken the same step. YouTube followed Meta and Twitter in suspending Mr. Trump after the Capitol attack and rescinding the bans.

Since losing his re-election bid in 2020, Mr Trump has sought to make a success of his own social media service, Truth Social, which is notorious for its loose content moderation rules.

Mr. Trump posted on his Facebook page on Friday for the first time since being reinstated. “I’M BACK!” Mr Trump wrote, alongside a video in which he said: ‘Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business. Complicated.”

Despite being reinstated on Twitter, Mr. Trump has not resumed posting from that account.

In his last tweet, dated January 8, 2021, he said he would not be attending the upcoming inauguration, which will be held at the Capitol.


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