YouTube’s chief executive officer announced Thursday that the company plans to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s channel once an “elevated risk of violence” associated with him has receded.
The popular video-sharing platform, which is owned by Google, first implemented a temporary suspension of the then-president’s account on Jan. 12, following the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Since then, his suspension has become indefinite.
But now, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is offering clues as to when Trump will be permitted to return to the platform, suggesting that it will happen once she and other company leaders asses that the risk level has decreased.
“We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine the risk of violence has decreased,” she said at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, according to Politico.
YouTube will reportedly rely on a mix of indicators to determine the level of violence, including statements by government officials, law enforcement preparedness, and the presence of violent rhetoric on its own platform.
Wojcicki noted the recent warning from Capitol Police about a potential militia attack on the Capitol on or around March 4 — which caused the House to adjourn Wednesday — constituted what she called an “elevated risk of violence.”
“We will turn the account back on, but when we see reduced law enforcement in capitals in the U.S. and fewer [threat] warnings,” she said. “Those would be signals to us [that it is] safe to turn the channel back on.”
While the statement from YouTube may appear to indicate the company is close to ending its censorship of Trump, supporters of the former president shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet.
On Thursday, the same day that Wojcicki made the statement, YouTube completely wiped videos of Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference from its platform and suspended at least one popular channel, Right Side Broadcasting Network, that chose to publish it.
Such actions don’t exactly demonstrate that YouTube is warming to the idea of allowing Trump back on the platform. It could very well be that YouTube plans to string along Trump’s suspension for a long time to come and, with its recent statement, has set up a framework allowing them to do so.