YouTube is the latest internet giant to restore former President Donald Trump’s accounts. It owns the video service owned by Google Lifted Block video downloads from Trump’s channel. YouTube says it made the decision after evaluating the “constant risk” Violence versus opportunity to hear from major political candidates. The company says Trump will still be subject to the same policies as other users.
YouTube banned uploads on Trump’s channel days after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters hoping to overturn the results of the presidential election. The site has also taken down certain videos. However, it didn’t completely clear the channel. Meta and Twitter were even tougher, banning Trump entirely over concerns his remarks could incite violence.
1/ As of today, Donald J. Trump’s channel is no longer restricted and can upload new content. We carefully assessed the ongoing risks of real-world violence, weighing voters’ opportunity to hear equally from major national candidates in the run-up to the election.
– YouTubeInsider (YouTubeInsider) March 17, 2023
Trump has not posted any new videos to YouTube since the upload restrictions disappeared. As a rule, he did not use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other services that removed bans and other restrictions. He prefers instead to use his own platform, Truth Social, where he has an agreement to provide exclusive content for at least six hours.
The change of mind comes after House Republicans revealed plans to grill tech giants’ CEOs about their content moderation policies. For years, conservatives have alleged that Google, Meta, and other big-name brands censor right-wing viewpoints under the guise of combating misinformation and hate speech. The companies have repeatedly denied the allegations, and evidence has surfaced that the companies sometimes made policy exceptions for conservative outlets out of fear of a backlash.
The restrictions at this stage are more symbolic than practical. However, they illustrate the fine line that YouTube and other internet bigwigs try to walk between freedom of expression and a desire to banish potentially disturbing content away from their products.
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