We’ll lift Trump suspension when risk of violence drops

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.

Michael Newberg | CNBC

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Thursday that the platform will lift the suspension on the account of former President Donald Trump once the risk of violence declines.

The Google-owned video-sharing site first suspended the account on Jan. 12, nearly a week after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers sought to confirm President Joe Biden‘s election win. Facebook and Twitter had earlier suspended Trump’s accounts, citing the risk of further violence. YouTube said Trump’s account had attempted to upload a video that violated its policies, giving it an automatic seven-day suspension under its guidelines. It later extended that suspension.

“I do want to confirm that we will lift the suspension of the channel … when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased,” Wojcicki said at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, a think tank. She said it would remain subject to the same policies as other accounts.

“Where we stand today it’s hard for me to say when that’s going to be, but it’s pretty clear that right now where we stand that there still is that elevated risk of violence,” she said.

Wojcicki said the company will look at a variety of signals to determine if the risk has changed. Those include statements and warnings from the government, increased law enforcement presence and rhetoric YouTube monitors on its own platform.

While Wojcicki was clear that she expects YouTube to reinstate Trump’s account, Twitter has said Trump’s suspension is a permanent one. Facebook has said its suspension is indefinite and has referred the ban to its independent Oversight Board to review. Until it receives a suggestion from that board, Facebook said Trump’s suspension would remain in place.

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