YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki says the site will lift former President Donald Trump’s suspension when the risk of him inciting violence decreases.
Trump was temporarily suspended in January after encouraging supporters to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, just before a violent attack on the US Capitol. Unlike similar suspensions on Twitter and Facebook, however, his YouTube channel suspension was described as temporary. In a new interview with the head of the Atlantic Council think tank, Wojcicki offered a more concrete description of how — although not precisely when — Trump could return.
“The channel remains suspended due to the risk of incitement to violence,” Wojcicki said. “Given the warnings by the Capitol Police yesterday about a potential attack today, I think it’s pretty clear that that elevated violence risk still remains. However, I do want to confirm that we will lift the suspension of the channel. We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased. That’s per our policies, that’s how our three strikes system works. But when the channel is reinstated, it will be subject to the same policies that every other channel follows.”
Wojcicki noted that Trump could be given a second or third strike if he uploads more content that incites violence or violates YouTube’s election integrity policies; after three strikes with a 90-day period, a channel is removed.
Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter and Facebook. However, it’s possible he will also return to Facebook in the future — since the semi-independent Facebook Oversight Board is reviewing his ban.
Meanwhile, federal investigators are still investigating the January attack on the Capitol, reportedly including the potential role of Trump associate Roger Stone. Yesterday, police warned of a “possible” follow-up plot by right-wing militia members — possibly inspired by the QAnon conspiracy movement, which has circulated false claims that Trump will return to the White House on March 4th. The House of Representatives canceled the day’s session in response.
Correction: An earlier version of the story noted that Congress canceled a session in response to threats. Only the House of Representatives canceled its session. We regret the error.