Statements
2023

Accountable Tech Statement on YouTube’s Decision to Reinstate Donald Trump

For Immediate Release
March 17, 2023
Contact: press@accountabletech.org

 

The decision comes as Trump releases video calling 2020 election “stolen,” demanding release of January 6th insurrectionists 

Accountable Tech Co-Founder and Executive Director Nicole Gill released the following statement:

“The very same day Trump released a video calling the 2020 election ‘stolen’ and demanding January 6th insurrectionists be released from prison, YouTube decided to let him back on their platform.

In doing so, YouTube put profits and politics over the safety of their users, the integrity of their platform, and the wellbeing of our democracy.

In 2021, then-YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Trump’s restrictions would be lifted when the risk of real-world violence had subsided. Yet, in replatforming Trump, YouTube provided no evidence that the threat posed by Trump has decreased. To the contrary, our research proves the opposite: Since using social media to incite a violent insurrection against the United States government, Trump’s online behavior has gotten even more dangerous.

The company should answer a simple question: Is the video Trump posted today calling the January 6th insurrection a ‘radical left con job’ the type of content YouTube is willing to host – exposing millions to harmful disinformation – just for the sake of your bottom line?”

Background on Accountable Tech’s work to monitor Trump’s online behavior:

  • Accountable Tech released research finding that more than 350 posts from Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” account – the equivalent of two posts per day – would directly violate Facebook’s Community Standards. Key findings include:

  • 116 posts amplifying followers and sympathizers of QAnon – the violent, anti-semitic conspiracy movement tied to real-world violence and insurrection, labeled by Facebook as a dangerous and militarized social movement and banned on the platform in October 2020.

  • 239 posts containing harmful election-related disinformation meant to undermine the integrity of U.S. elections and American democracy.

  • Repeated instances of harassment against marginalized groups, including racial minorities and the transgender community.

  • Trump amplified QAnon-related accounts and content 65 times and pushed false claims of election fraud 30 times in the week following the 2022 midterm elections. 

Learn more here: KeepTrumpOffFacebook.com

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