YouTube on Friday restored the channel of former President Donald Trump, more than two years after it suspended the channel for inciting violence.
“Starting today, the Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and can upload new content,” the video streaming company said. “We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, while balancing the chance for voters to hear equally from major national candidates in the run up to an election.”
The company said Trump’s channel will be subject to its policies “just like any other channel” on YouTube.
Trump’s YouTube channel currently has more than 2.6 million subscribers.
While the Trump campaign will likely be glad to make use of the streaming service, YouTube’s decision also benefits itself, as Trump can now buy and run campaign ads on the platform. Suspended accounts are barred from running ads.
Trump spent nearly $130 million on Google ads in the lead-up to the 2020 election, according to data tracked by OpenSecrets. He has declared his intention to seek the presidency again next year.
Trump’s most recent YouTube video, uploaded on Dec. 2, 2020, features him delivering a now-familiar 46-minute screed about “tremendous voter fraud” during the “ridiculously long” election he’d lost the previous month.
A month after posting the video, Trump used social media to instigate an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Five police officers died as a result of the violence, and another 140 were injured.
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all responded by suspending Trump’s various accounts, citing the risk that he’d continue using them for violent ends.
Twitter restored Trump’s account in November 2022, after Elon Musk purchased the platform ― though the former president has yet to tweet anything new, presumably not wanting to undercut his own struggling social network, Truth Social.
Facebook and Instagram likewise reinstated Trump soon after.