Most Americans say social media sites should be able to suspend politicians from using them

Jamie BallardData Journalist
January 11, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

After Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, Facebook and Twitter both decided to temporarily block President Trump from using their platforms. Twitter initially banned him for 12 hours before making the decision to permanently suspend his account, while Facebook announced they would block him at least until the end of his term on January 20. Other platforms including Instagram and Snapchat also announced they were limiting the president's accounts. 

YouGov poll of more than 6,000 US adults finds that a majority (56%) believe that social media platforms should be allowed to suspend US politicians from posting to their platforms. About three in 10 (29%) disagree.  

As ever, there are partisan differences. Democrats (78%) are especially likely to say social media companies should be able to issue temporary bans. By 48% to 36%, Independents tend to agree. Republicans think otherwise. Most (57%) say social media sites should not have the ability to suspend US politicians from using them. 

Although there is support for social media platforms being able to issue suspensions to politicians, there is also some belief that these sites may be biased against conservative content and users.  

Previous polling from YouGov and the Washington Examiner found that 39% of registered voters – including 82% of Republicans – believe that social media platforms’ content bans tend to be biased against Republicans. Another 9% say bans like these are biased against Democrats, while about one in five say content bans are biased against both parties (20%) or not biased against either (23%).  

Methodology: 6,102 US adults aged 18+ were asked “Do you think social media platforms should or should not be allowed to suspend US politicians from posting to their platforms?” The survey was conducted between January 7 – 8, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to provide a representative sample of the United States.    

Image: Getty