YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Thursday that the ban on former President Donald Trump will be lifted when the “risk of violence” is deemed by the company to have decreased.
YouTube, alongside many other social media sites, suspended Trump’s account following unrest at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which Trump was accused by congressional Democrats and some Republicans of inciting. According to Wojcicki, the suspension will not be permanent because of the platform’s “three strikes” rule.
Speaking during an interview with the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank focusing on foreign policy, Wojcicki said that YouTube is reviewing Trump the same as any other user, meaning that he will not be permanently banned unless he violates the terms of services three times in 90 days.
In the case of Trump, Wojcicki said the former president has generated only one strike for violating YouTube’s policies about inciting violence, which came with a punishment of not being able to upload new videos or livestream for seven days. Those restrictions were prolonged, however, because there allegedly remains an “elevated risk” of the channel spreading what she called “violent rhetoric.”
“We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased,” Wojcicki said, adding that the risk is partly measured by the security level in the nation’s capital.
“We will turn the account back on, but it will be when we see the reduced enforcement in Capitols in the U.S.,” she said. “It’s pretty clear that, where we stand, there is still that elevated risk of violence.”
Wojcicki’s comments come days after Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) said it was suspended by YouTube for two weeks because it broadcast Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
According to RSBN, YouTube said that the video violated its “guidelines on election misinformation.” In his first speech since leaving the White House before the CPAC crowd, Trump briefly hinted that his re-election was stolen, saying, “I may even decide to beat them for a third time.”
In a similar move, YouTube suspended the channel of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for a second time, citing violation of the platform’s policies on nicotine use and election integrity.
“We removed content from the Rudy W. Giuliani channel for violating our sale of regulated goods policy, which prohibits content facilitating the use of nicotine, and our presidential election integrity policy,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.