Former US President Donald Trump has returned to social media sites Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, two years after he was barred from doing so following his followers’ Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress.
Trump shared a video that appeared to be from one of his earlier election rallies on Friday, March 17.
His return to the platforms provides him access to significant political funding tools, allowing him to reach a total of 146 million followers across three big tech platforms if he runs for president again in 2024.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business,” Trump was seen saying in the video, captioned “I’M BACK.”
YouTube restored Trump’s channel earlier on Friday.
“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,” YouTube said in a tweet, referring to its move to restore his account.
Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), Facebook’s owners, restored Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts early this year, while Elon Musk, the platform’s new owner, restored his Twitter account in November. Trump has yet to make a tweet on Twitter.
Trump’s return to YouTube and Facebook comes as the Manhattan District Attorney’s office considers criminal charges connected to hush-money payments made to a porn star during Trump’s 2016 campaign, claims that Trump and his friends argue are politically motivated despite a lack of proof.
Trump is also facing a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit filed by the state of New York, which alleges a decade-long plot to falsify over 200 asset assessments and Trump’s net worth in order to obtain better terms from banks and insurers.