The Twitter feed of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, appears on a phone screen with … [+]
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In the days following the attack by rioters and insurgents in the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, President Donald Trump saw his online empire being pulled out from under him. He was banned on Facebook, Twitter and a number of other platforms, which decided to cut ties with the sitting president for fear that he would incite further violence. Tech companies have long hesitated to take action against Trump and other controversial users. However, surveys by Blind, an anonymous professional network, found that employees of large tech companies largely support the decision to completely suspend or remove Trump.
Blind surveyed more than 6,200 people who work at major tech and finance companies, including social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, to find out where the industries are cracking down on Trump. They found that 76 percent of all respondents believed that social media companies were doing the right thing by suspending and ultimately banning Trump from their platforms, compared with just 24 percent who viewed this as an “attack on freedom of speech.” .
Support for the ban rises to nearly eight out of ten employees on Facebook and Twitter, where the biggest suspensions have been imposed. Eighty percent of Facebook employees surveyed said that Trump’s ban was the right decision. Similarly, three quarters of all Twitter workers surveyed – 75 percent – said the correct call was made.
Support for the ban was similarly high in other parts of the tech world. Blind found that 76 percent of Amazon employees, 74 percent of Googlers, 73 percent of Microsoft employees, and 71 percent of Apple employees believe social media companies did the right thing.
“The average Joe user gets banned [Facebook] and Twitter for the slightest political inaccuracy, ”replied a Microsoft employee according to Blind to the survey. “Trump got a free ticket for so long because he’s the president. Today, however, it went full clockwork orange. He has to resign – the ban on Twitter and Facebook isn’t even a slap in the face. “
While Blind’s poll only asked for opinions on Twitter and Facebook’s decision to ban Trump, other companies are also suspending or taking action against the president. The social media bans found broad support among their employees from the companies surveyed that also acted against Trump.
Blind found that 84 percent of Pinterest employees who have restricted Trump content and hashtags like #StopTheSteal themselves support crackdown on social media. Every employee of the payment service provider Stripe, who has since announced that it will no longer process donations for the Trump campaign, said Facebook and Twitter did the right thing by banning Trump. Snapchat disabled and ultimately banned Trump’s account on its platform, and 72 percent of Snap employees surveyed supported similar bans from other social media companies.
While Trump’s widespread de-platforming is sure to continue to spark controversy, and possibly even lead to new laws on big tech, opinions across the industry seem clear. The employees of the largest tech companies seem to believe that Trump left companies with no choice but to take action.