" I'm back ! », Written in capital letters: it is through this post that the former American president, Donald Trump, announced that he would return to the social network Facebook and to the online video platform Youtube.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, it was complicated," he said in a short CNN video accompanying his post, which appears to be from the night he was elected in 2016.
The businessman, who is seeking a second term in 2024, was banned from these two social networks more than two years ago following the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Earlier on Friday, Youtube had announced that it was ending its suspension.
"As of today, the 'Donald J. Trump' channel is no longer subject to restrictions," Youtube tweeted. Meta, parent company of Facebook and Instagram, made a similar announcement in late January. In justifying its decision, the video platform said it assessed "the risk of violence", while taking into account the importance for voters to hear "equally from major national candidates".
Donald Trump has 34 million subscribers on Facebook and more than 2.6 million on Youtube. His announcement was met with thousands of comments, including several "Glad to see you again" and "What a relief to have you back Mr. President".
Still no feedback on Twitter
The 76-year-old Republican had been banned from major mainstream social media in January 2021, while still in office, for cheering on his supporters during the attack on Congress in Washington.
On January 6 of that year, thousands of his supporters convinced that the 2020 election had been tainted by fraud, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, attacked the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of the election of Joe Biden.
The NGO Media Matters for America strongly criticized Meta's decision to let the former president use the enormous communication potential of the tech giants. "Meta's decision is a green light for Trump to promote toxic content on its platforms, and it shows that the company still prioritizes profit - and appeasement of far-right figures - over public safety,” she said in a statement.
In addition to Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, Donald Trump had already been readmitted in November on Twitter by new boss Elon Musk.
But late Friday afternoon, he had still not posted on Instagram or Twitter, his former favorite platform on which he now has no less than 87.4 million subscribers and which he used. eagerly before his suspension. Until Friday, he mainly communicated through his own platform, Truth Social.