YouTube announced Friday, that the limitations it had imposed on Donald Trump's account had been removed, the most recent social media platform to grant the former president full access once again in a highly visible test of the platforms before the US presidential election of next year.
"We carefully reviewed the persistent risk of real-world violence, balancing that with the necessity of retaining the chance for voters to hear fairly from key national candidates in the run-up to an election," Leslie Miller, YouTube's vice-president of public policy, said in a statement. This channel will still be governed by our policies, just like any other YouTube channel.
Two years ago, after a rowdy crowd of supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, numerous digital companies took action to limit Trump's online visibility. In addition to using popular platforms as a megaphone to engage his supporters and occasionally distribute false information about the Covid-19 outbreak and the US presidential elections, Trump, who is suspected of inciting the disturbance, had also been using those same channels to engage his critics. He is presently running for re-election to the White House.
When his account broadcast his first address to the media following the uprising, YouTube has blocked Trump from publishing any further videos. Trump defended his rally speech as "totally appropriate" and claimed that the efforts by Congress to remove him from office were "causing tremendous anger." Meta Platforms Inc.'s Facebook had also imposed restrictions on Trump's account, and Twitter had instituted a permanent ban at the time.
However, in recent months, the social media platforms removed the limitations and declared that they would instead closely monitor Trump's account behavior. Trump would face "heightened punishments for repeat infractions," according to Meta, on Facebook. Elon Musk, the newly appointed CEO of Twitter, entirely overturned Trump's prohibition following a user survey.
When it was decided that there was no longer a threat of actual violence stemming from Trump's account, YouTube stated it had always planned to remove the limitations. The company said that it continually keeps an eye on new problems, harsh speech, and official security alerts.
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