Meta, which owns Facebook, announced in January that it was lifting the ban on Trump.
After Google-owned video site YouTube lifted their suspension on his account on Friday, a stream of commenters congratulated the former president on his return. Some of them cited well-known slogans from QAnon, a wide range of false claims that coalesce into an extremist ideology that has radicalized its followers. slogans. YouTube prohibits people from promoting QAnon material on its platform.
YouTube said in a tweet it “carefully assessed the ongoing risk of real-world violence while balancing the opportunity for voters to hear equally from the major national candidates facing an election.”
Trump is the Republican front-runner, according to polling data, in the 2024 presidential election.
Trump now has full access to his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts, potentially giving him the social media reach that helped him win the 2016 presidential election. But he has yet to take full advantage of internet megaphones, preferring to post on his own platform Truth Social and speak at rallies. The former president told people that he could not leave Truth Social because his presence there continued, and he did not want to fail a venture closely associated with his name, The Post reported in November.
The policy change is a big change for YouTube, which has always said it does not consider an account’s political or news relevance when deciding whether to delete it, unlike Facebook which in previous years has made explicit exceptions. in its terms for prominent politicians. The decision comes a month after longtime YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said he will step down to focus on his health.
Unlike Twitter and Facebook, where the president directly posts his thoughts, policy changes and attacks on rivals, he has used YouTube more as an online library for videos of his rallies. His account there has 2.65 million subscribers, compared to his 87.4 million followers on Twitter.
YouTube is also the late to major social media platform to suspend Trump after the attack on the Capitol, making its move days after Twitter and then Facebook banned him. The video site said it suspended Trump out of concern for “continued potential for violence” after he uploaded a video in which he said his comments to supporters before the attack on Capitol is “absolutely appropriate.”
For the past two years, executives have said they’ve been monitoring the threat of violence and judged it was still enough to keep Trump’s account locked. But as Trump ramps up his campaign to become the Republican nominee in 2024, that calculation has changed.
The shift began with Elon Musk taking over Twitter and inviting Trump to return to his former primary social media outlet in November. Musk’s moves have drawn praise from conservative politicians who have accused Big Tech companies of being biased against right-wing views, even as conservative views and politicians find massive audiences among that site.
Next came Facebook, with parent company Meta saying it will allow Trump to return to the site as well as Instagram. “The public must hear what their politicians have to say – the good, the bad and the ugly – so they can make informed choices at the ballot box,” wrote Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, in a January 25 blog post.