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YouTube CEO Says Platform Will Lift Ban On Donald Trump When “Risk Of Violence Decreases”

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Donald Trump’s YouTube channel is to remain suspended until “the risk of violence has decreased,” according to the platform’s CEO. Susan Wojcicki said the company will review government warnings and violent rhetoric to determine when to safely lift the suspension.

Mr Trump’s social media accounts were suspended on January 6th, following the storming of Capitol Hill that left five people dead. Supporters stormed the Capitol complex, as lawmakers met to certify President Biden’s election victory. Other prominent social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, also removed Trump’s accounts.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council forum on Thursday, Wojcicki said Trump’s account was suspended after it uploaded videos which constituted a violation of the company’s incitement to violence policy. The YouTube Chief Executive said there are “no exceptions” for policy violations, not even the former US President.

“When the channel is reinstated, it will be subject to the same policies that every other channel follows. If we see content that is uploaded that in any way violates any of our policies, then a second strike will be issued,” said the YouTube CEO. “When there are three strikes within a 90-day period, then the channel is removed. Again, these are policies that we are public with. Everybody follows them.”

House leaders cancelled the Lower Chamber’s Thursday session after Capitol police warned of intelligence which showed “a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group”. The YouTube chief said yesterday’s warning of a potential attack makes it “pretty clear that that elevated violence risk still remains”.

YouTube operates under a three-strike system and an account must receive all three strikes within 90 days to be permanently removed. A first strike for an account usually results in a seven-day suspension, and although Trump’s suspension was his first strike, it has been prolonged due to a continued risk of violence.

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