Nearly all major social media platforms banned former President Donald Trump in January after he called for “peace” following the Capitol riot. A new study from the Pew Research Center revealed just how controversial the bans were to the American people.
The Pew Research Center conducted a study of 4,623 U.S. adults who were asked about their views on permanently banning Trump from social media. The groups were nearly evenly split, with 50 percent of American respondents not in support of a permanent ban. Fifty percent of U.S. adults said that Trump “should NOT be banned permanently,” compared to 49 percent who said he “should be banned permanently,” according to the study.
Pew conducted the study from April 12 to April 18, prior to the date that the Facebook Oversight Board decided to at least temporarily uphold the suspension of Trump.
The study noted that 88 percent of respondents who identified as “Republican” or “Republican-leaning independents” did not agree with the barring of Trump from social media. Ninety-five percent of conservative Republicans also disagreed with a permanent ban, as did 77 percent of moderate and liberal Republicans.
Meanwhile, only 18 percent of Democrats or those who lean Democratic did not support a permanent ban for Trump. Fourteen percent of liberal Democrats also disagreed with a permanent ban, as did 22 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats.
The survey respondents on the left who expressed concern about a permanent Trump ban were not alone. Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, for example, said that Trump “probably should be allowed back on” social media. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) even said that he did not “feel comfortable” with Trump’s removal from social media platforms. Kate Ruane, the Senior Legislative Counsel of the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), also reportedly expressed concern over Facebook and Twitter’s removal of individuals like Trump.
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