Former US President Donald Trump’s YouTube account has been reinstated after being banned for two years for violating the platform’s rules on incitement to violence. The move follows similar decisions made by Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, and Elon Musk-owned Twitter.
YouTube made the announcement on its press account on Twitter, stating that the Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and can upload new content.
The decision to lift the suspension came after YouTube carefully evaluated the 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.
Despite his huge following on social media platforms, there is no guarantee that Mr. Trump will return to posting videos on YouTube. However, the move to reinstate his account suggests that the platform is willing to give him another chance.
YouTube had previously banned Mr. Trump from posting videos on its platform after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington DC, on 6 January 2021. The riots happened as the US Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Following the riots, Mr. Trump’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts were also suspended. The ban remained in place for several months until he launched his own social media platform, Truth Social, in 2022.
In 2022, Mr. Trump announced he would run for the US presidency in 2024, and since then his accounts on all of these platforms have returned. He has over 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube, 87 million followers on Twitter, 34 million on Facebook, and 23 million on Instagram.
With the 2024 presidential election looming, Mr. Trump’s return to YouTube is significant as it provides him with another platform to reach his supporters. He has been known to use social media to rally his base, and with his YouTube channel now active, he may ramp up his online presence in the coming months.
Mr Trump’s return to social media was marked by a short video clip of his 2016 victory speech that he posted on Facebook for the first time in more than two years. The clip accompanied a simple message: “I’M BACK!”
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, it remains to be seen how Mr. Trump will use his social media platforms to reach voters. But with his YouTube channel now reinstated, he has one more tool at his disposal to help him get his message out to the public.