In news that has generated great controversy on social networks, Alphabet Inc, the parent company of YouTube, announced last Friday that it has lifted restrictions on the channel of former U.S. President Donald Trump. This move comes after a suspension that lasted for more than two years, following the assault on the Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021.
Trump has now regained his access to key fundraising tools and the ability to reach his 146 million supporters on three major technology platforms as he prepares for another presidential bid in 2024.
“We carefully consider the continued risk of real-world violence while balancing the opportunity for voters to hear equally from leading national candidates in the run-up to an election,” YouTube said in a tweet, referring to the move.
The video platform had banned Trump in 2021 for violating its incitement policy after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress began certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Now, Trump is regaining access to social media accounts he used during his 2016 campaign and presidency to attack rivals and build his fan base, just as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is considering criminal charges against him, which he and his allies argue without evidence are politically motivated.
Trump’s campaign team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
News of the reinstatement of Trump’s account has generated much debate on social media. Many of his supporters see it as a step in the right direction to ensure free speech, while his opponents argue that the messages he has posted on his new platform, Truth Social, show that he still poses a risk to society.
Trump also faces a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit filed by the state of New York, which alleges that he carried out a more than decade-long scheme to manipulate the valuation of more than 200 assets and his net worth in order to obtain better terms from banks and insurers. Trump has called the lawsuit a witch hunt.