YouTube restores Donald Trump’s account
YouTube today announced that former President Donald Trump’s YouTube channel will no longer be suspended. The account had been restricted in the week following the January 2021 riot at the United States Capitol. Following the lead of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, YouTube said at the time that Trump’s social media accounts could be used to incite further violence.
Now, as the former president prepares for his 2024 presidential run, YouTube has changed course.
“As of today, the Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and may upload new content,” YouTube wrote in a post. Tweeter. “We have carefully assessed the continued risk of real-world violence, while balancing the chances of voters hearing similarly from leading national candidates in the run-up to an election.”
The revived account has 2.64 million subscribers and over four thousand videos. YouTube’s decision could have other implications if Trump’s campaign is able to run ads on YouTube; in 2020, his campaign spent over $10 million on digital ads in key states.
In November, Twitter owner Elon Musk used a one-day poll to decide whether to reinstate Trump’s account. With 51.8% of users voting in favour, he replatformed the former president, who has yet to use his reinstated account. Facebook also reversed Trump’s ban — he didn’t post there either, true to his word.
Since losing his re-election campaign in 2020, the former president has created his own media company, the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which bills itself as “the cancellation of cancel culture”. and “resistance to big tech”. The company’s social media app, Truth Social, launched 13 months ago.
Trump’s ties to his own tech company could explain his silence on mainstream social media. Last year, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding TMTG’s intention to go public via SPAC revealed that Trump had contractual obligations to Truth Social regarding his posts. When Trump posts a “truth” on Truth Social, he cannot repost it on any other social network for six hours.
TMTG has still not gone public.