A little over a week after YouTube reinstated former President Donald Trump, his false election narratives were broadcast through livestreams on the platform. Media Matters identified 9 YouTube channels that livestreamed Trump’s campaign rally speech in Waco, Texas, over the weekend, during which he made multiple false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
Trump was suspended from most major platforms, including YouTube, after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. YouTube reinstated Trump’s account on March 17, claiming that it “carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence” when making this decision. However, prior to his suspension, the former president used the video platform to stream rallies and promote videos pushing election misinformation, and while suspended he repeatedly spouted false narratives about the 2020 election on his own platform Truth Social. Trump also recently urged his followers to “PROTEST” and “TAKE OUR NATION BACK” on Truth Social in response to his potential indictment.
On March 25, Trump held his first official campaign rally for the 2024 election, using it as an opportunity to push false claims about the 2020 presidential election, which seemingly violates YouTube’s policies that specifically prohibit “false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in … any past U.S. presidential election” and “content that claims that the certified results of those elections were false.”
During his speech, Trump referred to “ballot stuffing” several times, claimed that voting machines were broken, and said that he would have gotten more votes in 2020 “but it was rigged.” He went on to say that “we have to stop them from cheating in elections. Because if we don't win this next election, 2024, I truly believe our country is doomed.”
Trump’s official channel was scheduled to livestream the rally in Waco, but it removed the stream before the rally began. However, he did stream it on Facebook and Rumble, and Media Matters identified 9 other YouTube channels that livestreamed Trump’s election misinformation during his campaign rally speech — including right-wing channels Newsmax and NTD News — and likely violated YouTube’s policies.
In fact, at least 1 of the videos has been removed for violating YouTube’s community guidelines. Of the other videos, 5 are still available on the platform, 1 of the videos was removed by the uploader, 1 has since been made private, and 1 is an ongoing livestream. Three of the videos also appear to be monetized.
During the rally speech, Trump also attacked officials who are investigating him, which he's also done repeatedly on Truth Social, coinciding with threats against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Such attacks were also livestreamed on YouTube, which has a policy banning “content encouraging others to commit violent acts.”