On Friday, Google's YouTube announced that former President Donald Trump's channel, which was indefinitely suspended following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021, was "no longer restricted" and new content could be uploaded, The Verge reported.
Within just a few hours of that announcement, Trump posted his first new content to the restored channel in more than two years, a brief video clip titled "I'M BACK!" that featured him at a 2016 rally telling his supporters, "Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business. Complicated."
He then posted that same video to his Facebook page, his first post to that account since it was restored in January after similarly being suspended for two years following the 2021 Capitol riot.
Friday morning, an official account for YouTube on Twitter announced that "Starting today, the Donald J. Trump channel is no longer restricted and can upload new content."
"We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, while balancing the chance for voters to hear equally from major national candidates in the run up to an election," the statement continued.
A follow-up tweet added, "This channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube."
2/ This channel will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube.
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) March 17, 2023
The Verge noted that former President Trump's YouTube channel, along with virtually all of his other major social media accounts, had been suspended in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot over allegations that his rhetoric had incited the violence that occurred.
In the case of YouTube, the suspension had initially been for just one week but was inexplicably made indefinite, even as platform executives noted that it could eventually be reinstated if it was determined that there was no longer an elevated risk of incited violence.
Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts were reinstated in January while his Twitter account had been restored in November, but nothing had been posted on those platforms since then, most likely due to an exclusivity deal he'd signed with the parent company of his own social media platform, Truth Social.
According to the Daily Caller, the former president's contract with the Trump Media & Technology Group stated that he was "generally obligated to make any social media post on TruthSocial" before being allowed to post the same content "on another social media site for 6 hours."
However, Business Insider reported in January that Trump was seeking to get out of that social media exclusivity agreement with TMTG, or at least not renew it after it expires in June, in order for him to make a full return to Twitter.
As noted, the agreement requires that Trump first post content on Truth Social before that same content can be posted on any other platform, though that only applied to non-political posts and the contract reportedly contained an exception that allowed for "political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the vote efforts" to be posted to any platform at any time.
Given that Trump has now made his triumphant return to both YouTube and Facebook, it is likely only a matter of time before he is back to his old habits on Twitter of delighting his supporters and infuriating his haters with controversial and/or humorous tweets.