YouTube CEO: Trump to be reinstated once ‘risk of violence’ passes

YouTube will reinstate former President Donald Trump’s channel once the “elevated risk of violence” has passed, the Google-owned video sharing site’s CEO said Thursday.

“We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine the risk of violence has decreased,” Susan Wojcicki said at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council.

She noted a warning from the Capitol Police that militia groups were plotting a potential attack on the U.S. Capitol Thursday as an example of the continued “elevated risk of violence.” The warning led the House to adjourn Wednesday.

“We will turn the account back on, but when we see reduced law enforcement in capitals in the U.S. and fewer [threat] warnings,” she said. “Those would be signals to us [that it is] safe to turn the channel back on.”

Suspension: YouTube initially suspended Trump’s account on Jan. 12 for at least one week due to concerns “about the ongoing potential for violence” in the wake of the Capitol riot six days earlier and later extended the restriction by one week. After that period elapsed, the company said on Jan. 26 that it was again extending the suspension but offered no timetable for it to be lifted, leaving its status indefinite.

YouTube’s handling of Trump’s accounts notably differs from that of rivals Facebook and Twitter, where Trump had posted some similar content and at times identical posts.

Facebook booted Trump after Jan. 6, the day of the riot, and said it had no plans to restore his accounts on its platforms. But the company also referred his case to its oversight board, which could overturn the decision and restore Trump’s access. Twitter, meanwhile, permanently banned Trump and said it wouldn’t restore his account even if he runs for president again.

The social media companies have long faced pressure from Democratic officials and liberal advocacy groups to crack down on misleading and inflammatory posts by the former president, but Republicans have fired back at the restrictions as an affront to free speech.


About the author


Leave a Comment