YouTube today has lifted the restrictions on former President Donald Trump's channel, restoring his presidential campaign's ability to upload new content and to buy ads for his campaign.
Trump's YouTube account, like his other social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, was restricted following the events of Jan. 6. 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters rioted at the U.S. Capitol building to interrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden. At the time, social media companies alleged that Trump was encouraging violence on their platforms, in violation of their policies.
As the threat of violence has receded, and after Trump began his third campaign for the White House in November, YouTube has reviewed the restrictions placed on Trump's channel and determined now is the appropriate time to free his account.
"Starting today, The Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and the ability to upload new content is restored," said Leslie Miller, YouTube's vice president for Public Policy.
"We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, balancing that with the importance of preserving the opportunity for voters to hear equally from major national candidates in the run up to an election," Miller explained. "This channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube."
Following the Capitol riot, YouTube removed videos on Trump's channel that violated its incitement to violence policy and gave the channel one strike. Those videos will not be restored.
If Trump continues to violate YouTube's policies with his newly restored account, the company will take appropriate action to enforce its policies.
YouTube's decision is good news for Trump's presidential campaign, which will now be permitted to buy ads on the platform so long as they comply with the company's policies.
However, it's unclear whether Trump intends to take advantage of access to his YouTube channel. The former president has not posted on Facebook or Instagram since Meta ended his two-year suspension last month, and he has not returned to Twitter since its new owner, Elon Musk, reinstated his account.
Instead, Trump has prolifically posted on Truth Social, the platform he launched in 2021 to act as a competitor to the social media companies that had banned him.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.