The company’s chief executive Susan Wojcicki said on Thursday that Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube will cancel the threat of former U.S. President Donald Trump when it determines that the risk of real-life violence has reduced. Trump)’s channel ceased broadcasting.
YouTube suspended Trump’s channel for violating policies against inciting violence after the assault on the U.S. Capitol by the former president’s supporters in January.
“The channel remains suspended due to the risk of incitement to violence,” said Wojcicki, speaking in an interview with the head of the Atlantic Council think tank. She said recent warnings by the Capitol police about a potential new attack on Thursday showed that an “elevated violence risk still remains.”
Wojcicki said that YouTube will determine the risk of violence by looking at government statements and warnings, increased law enforcement across the country, and violent speech on the platform itself.
After the riots on January 6, social media companies such as Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc banned the use of Trump’s account on their platforms. Twitter’s ban is permanent, and Facebook has sent the case to its independent oversight committee to decide whether Trump’s account should be cancelled.
“We will turn the account back on,” Wojcicki said. “But it will be when we see the reduced law enforcement in capitals in the U.S, if we don’t see different warnings coming out of government agencies, those would all be signals to us that it would be safe to turn the channel back on.”
Trump spokesman Jason Miller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Security around the Capitol was tight on Thursday after police warned that a militia group might try to attack it to mark a key date on the calendar of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.
Under YouTube’s policies, if an account has three “strikes” in a 90 day period it will be terminated. The suspension of Trump’s account, for a minimum of a week, was because it gained a first “strike.” YouTube also indefinitely disabled comments under videos on the channel.
Large social media companies are under pressure to curb conspiracy theories, violent rhetoric and other abuse of websites.
A report from the Election Integrity Partnership by the Alliance of Misinformation Researchers stated in a report this week that YouTube provides a space for video misinformation that can be easily shared on multiple platforms, and The purpose of this content is to provide “evidence” for misleading narratives.