Maintaining a ban on the YouTube channel attributed to former US President Donald Trump could be seen as a violation of free speech rights, especially in light of the presidential election set for next year.
Sensing the danger of costly lawsuits, launched by well-paid lawyers for the famous US entrepreneur-turned-president, Google has decided to drop its ban on the Trump channel. Officially, YouTube’s administrator says the decision was made after lengthy deliberations, considering the “continued risk” of violence versus the opportunity to hear the message of major political candidates.
YouTube blocked the posting of new videos on the channel attributed to President Donald Trump days after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters hoping to recount the results of the presidential election that saw incumbent Joe Biden win. The website also deleted some of the videos. However, YouTube did not delete the channel altogether, a move seen by some critics as discriminatory against other users of the platform who face harsher sanctions that are more easily applied. Meta and Twitter have been stricter, banning Trump entirely over fears that his statements could incite violence.
Although, taken years apart, the lifting of the bans could be seen as rather symbolic, the decision could provide “ammunition” for the upcoming election campaign, should former President Donald Trump decide to seek another term in the White House.