Trump to be allowed back on YouTube when ‘risk of violence’ falls

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SAN FRANCISCO: Former US president Donald Trump will be allowed back on YouTube but only when the threat of his inciting violence abates, the head of the popular online video sharing platform said on Thursday (Mar 4).

YouTube in late January suspended Trump’s channel, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts following the deadly Jan 6 Capitol riot.

“We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased,” YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki said during a streamed Atlantic Council interview.

“Given just the warnings by the Capitol Police yesterday about a potential attack today, I think it is pretty clear that that elevated violence risk still remains.”

READ: US police warn of new militant plot to ‘breach’ Capitol

Wojcicki said that when the Trump channel is reinstated, it will remain subject to the same “three strike” system as everyone else at YouTube.

Uploading videos that break YouTube rules such as those against inciting violence or falsely attacking election integrity would earn the channel more strikes and suspensions.

Channels that get three strikes within a 90-day period are removed from YouTube, Wojcicki noted.

“This was the first strike,” she said of the Trump channel.

“We have applied strikes to over world leaders: (Jair) Bolsonaro in Brazil for COVID-19 misinformation, channels taken down now in Myanmar.”

READ: How protesters in Myanmar get around social media and Internet blackouts

Factors considered when assessing when it is safe to allow Trump back on YouTube will include online rhetoric along with concerns expressed by police departments and government agencies regarding risks of politically fueled violence, according to Wojcicki.

She felt it important to hold world leaders to the same standards as everyone else on YouTube, reasoning that it is “a very dangerous path to say some people have a free pass” when it comes to breaking content rules.

The Google-owned firm has faced criticism over its slow response following the violence in Washington, as well as the proliferation of conspiracy theories on the platform.

Trump has been banned from other online platforms including Twitter and Facebook. An independent board created by Facebook is reviewing the decision by the leading social network.

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