A new poll shows that a slim majority of Americans agree with Facebook’s recent decision to ban former President Donald Trump from its platform for the next two years.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted over the weekend asked registered voters whether they supported the ban, which would last at a minimum through January 2023. Fifty-one percent said they backed the tech company’s decision, while just 40 percent said they opposed it.
Attitudes toward the ban were noticeably partisan. Seventy-seven percent of Republican voters were opposed to the decision, while 86 percent of Democrats said they backed it. Of independents taking part in the poll, 46 percent said they supported Facebook’s choice while 40 percent said they opposed it.
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) June 7, 2021
Facebook announced its decision to keep Trump banned from the site on June 4. The company will not automatically reinstate the former president once the January 2023 deadline is reached — rather, in a statement the company explained that it will ask experts “whether the risk to public safety has receded” and if it’s acceptable to allow Trump back on the platform, which he had used liberally to spread false information, especially regarding the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump responded to the decision by calling it “an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election.”
“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win,” Trump added.
Trump’s response is riddled with misleading numbers and falsehoods. While the former president did earn 74.2 million votes in the 2020 presidential race, his opponent, President Joe Biden, earned the real record-setting number of votes. At 81.2 million, it was the highest number of votes cast for a president in American history.
Furthermore, there is no credence to Trump’s claims that the election was “rigged” — indeed, claims of fraud that Trump and his supporters have made since he lost the race have been repeatedly debunked and the results have been validated many times over.
Claims of censorship, as Trump and others have made, are also overblown, as the former president was in violation of well-established rules against using the social media website to incite violence and spread false information — in this case, about the election.
Trump was banned from Facebook, as well as many other social media sites, after the events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol. The former president was initially blocked from using his Facebook profile for two weeks for continuing to post inflammatory remarks to his supporters after a mob of his loyalists violently attacked the Capitol to stop the certification of the Electoral College.
“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote at the time.
The ban continued through this late spring, when Facebook’s oversight board upheld the decision as being appropriate. However, the board also said at the time that the company needed to determine how to improve its policies for the future, and that an “indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension” was not appropriate. The board asked Facebook to come up with a new response within six months’ time of its decision, which is what the company did last week.