YouTube allows ex-President Trump's channel to upload videos ahead of 2024 election
YouTube has reinstated former President Trump's channel, allowing him to upload videos ahead of the 2024 presidential election, the video platform announced Friday.
A host of social media sites banned Trump from their platforms after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. YouTube had cited "concerns about the ongoing potential for violence" and violation of its "policies for inciting violence."
In its decision to reverse course, YouTube — which is owned by Google — acknowledged it had considered such threat of violence but wanted to give voters a fair opportunity to hear from major presidential candidates. The move echoed a similar decision from Meta Platforms, which in January let Trump back on Facebook and Instagram. Trump announced his 2024 run in November.
"Starting today, the Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and can upload new content," YouTube said in a statement on Twitter. "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."
"This channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube," YouTube added.
Shortly after it was reinstated, Trump's channel uploaded a campaign commercial titled, "I'M BACK!" The spot features news footage of Trump speaking to a crowd on election night in 2016. Trump also posted the video to his Facebook page, its first activity in more than two years.
"Sorry to keep you waiting — complicating business," Trump said in the archived footage before an advertisement flashed for the campaign's texting service.
In December, the House panel investigating the events of Jan. 6 recommended that Trump be criminally prosecuted for his role in the insurrection, in which a mob violently attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Even so, Trump is considered a front-runner in the Republican primary race. He has not yet been charged.
Twitter, which had also banned Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection, reinstated him in November after new owner and chief executive Elon Musk polled users about whether the former POTUS should be brought back. Twitter had been Trump's preferred platform during his presidency. However, the Truth Social founder has not used his Twitter account since it was reactivated; his last tweet was days after the Capitol attack.
After Trump was reinstated on Twitter, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) responded to Musk’s poll by tweeting video of the attack on the Capitol.
She tweeted that when Trump was last on Twitter, the site “was used to incite an insurrection, multiple people died, the Vice President of the United States was nearly assassinated, and hundreds were injured but I guess that’s not enough for you to answer the question. Twitter poll it is.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.