By Brian Fung and Clare Duffy, CNN
YouTube on Friday said it would restore former President Donald Trump’s channel, more than two years after suspending it following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
The move follows similar actions by Twitter and Facebook-parent Meta in recent months, although Trump has yet to resume posting on those platforms. It also comes after Trump announced last fall that he would run for president again in 2024.
“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,” YouTube said in a tweet Friday.
A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN. The channel restoration was first reported by Axios.
YouTube initially suspended Trump’s channel after the Capitol riot, saying a video on the channel had violated its policy against inciting violence. Since then, Trump’s account had been blocked from uploading new videos or livestreams.
YouTube had also disabled comments underneath videos on Trump’s channel, which appear to have been restored on Friday. Immediately after his account was restored, a number of users began posting “welcome back” comments under old videos.
While YouTube was never Trump’s top social platform, the reactivation of his channel will restore his access to the massive video streaming platform, where his account has more than 2.6 million subscribers.
As more platforms restore Trump’s account, some are also stressing he continues to face restrictions on what he can post, with the potential to be suspended again.
YouTube said in its statement that Trump’s “channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube.” YouTube operates a strike policy under which users can receive escalating suspensions based on the number and severity of their violations.
Meanwhile, Meta said last month that it had implemented new guardrails on Trump’s account that could result in it being suspended again if he breaks the company’s rules.
For now, the former president has continued posting only on his own platform, Truth Social, which launched after he was suspended from more mainstream options. Trump on Friday morning posted a series of six videos on Truth Social, including multiple that repeated false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
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