YouTube Says Donald Trump’s Account to Remain Blacklisted Until ‘Risk of Violence Has Decreased’

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks during the introduction of YouTube TV at YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles. Google’s online package of about 40 television channels debuts on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in the tech industry’s latest bid to get cable-shunning millennials …
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of Google-owned YouTube, said on Thursday that former President Donald Trump’s account on the platform will remain blacklisted until the “risk of violence has decreased,” adding that Trump’s channel could be permanently banned if he continues to violate the site’s policies after being unsuspended in the future.

Wojcicki said that the decision to suspend Trump’s YouTube account was made after the Capitol Hill riot on January 6, when the company reviewed the president’s account and found content that it believed was in violation of the site’s “incitement to violence” policy. Her comments came during an Atlantic Council event.

“As a result, we removed those videos very quickly, and when we see a violation of our policy, we suspend the channel for seven days,” said Wojcicki during an Atlantic Council forum on Thursday.

“Now, it’s a minimum of seven days,” added the YouTube CEO. “The channel remains suspended due to the risk of incitement to violence.”

“Given just the warnings by the Capitol police yesterday about a potential attack today, I think it’s pretty clear that that elevated violence risk still remains,” added Wojcicki.

The Capitol police were reportedly worried of “a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group” on March 4. No such activity, however, ended up occuring.

“I do want to confirm that we will lift the suspension of the channel,” Wojcicki continued. “We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased.”

The YouTube CEO went on to suggest that Trump’s suspension eventually being lifted is no guarantee that the former president will get to remain on the platform indefinitely.

“But when the channel is reinstated, it will be subject to the same policies that every other channel follows,” said Wojcicki.

“If we see content that is uploaded that in any way violates any of our policies — incitement to violence or any kind of election integrity policy violations — then a second strike will be issued, and when there are three strikes within a 90-day period, then the channel is removed,” added the YouTube CEO.

When asked how YouTube will measure the so-called “danger” being reduced, Wojcicki said that the company will look toward the government for answers.

“The way we would determine whether or not that risk of violence has decreased — is by looking at government statements, government warnings,” said Wojcicki.

“We certainly would look at increased law enforcement around the country,” added the YouTube CEO. “We also would look at any kind of violent rhetoric that we see on our platform.”

“But there still is that elevated risk of violence,” affirmed Wojcicki of the danger level as of Thursday.

On Thursday, YouTube blacklisted Trump’s speech at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and gave the Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) a two-week suspension from YouTube because it covered the former president’s speech.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.


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