Great news for President Trump and democracy! YouTube has finally restored Trump's channel, more than two years after he was indefinitely suspended following the events that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Leslie Miller, YouTube’s vice president of public policy, announced that Trump’s channel is no longer restricted and that he can now upload new content again. This move gives the former President and GOP 2024 presidential hopeful a chance to buy ads on YouTube for his campaign, as long as they comply with the platform’s policies.
YouTube has been censoring or prohibiting Trump’s content since he left political office, including a widely circulated video interview with the "Full Send" podcast which was removed just last year. However, the restoration of Trump's channel now marks a significant shift toward free speech and democracy on social media platforms.
While YouTube’s statement did not mention whether previously deleted videos would be restored, Axios reports that those videos will not be restored. Nevertheless, the restoration of Trump's channel is a win for democracy and free speech, and a sign that social media platforms are starting to learn that censorship only harms the principles our democracy stands for.
The decision by YouTube to restore Trump's channel comes more than a month after Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta, announced their own restoration of Trump's accounts. While Elon Musk restored Trump's Twitter account, the former President has not posted from the platform since his suspension.
It is refreshing to see that social media companies are starting to recognize that censorship only stifles free speech and that allowing diverse voices is the best way to promote democracy. Let's hope that this trend continues, and that our social media platforms stop being used as tools of censorship and start promoting open dialogue and democracy.