Exclusive poll: Both parties blame social media for Capitol siege

By Ina Fried | Axios | March 31, 2021

Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly agree on one thing: Social media had at least some responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to new survey data from Harris Insights shared exclusively with Axios, Kim Hart reports.

Why it matters: 71% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats say social media platforms bear responsibility for the Jan. 6 events — a stark sign of the growing animosity toward them from both sides of the aisle.

The big picture: The survey was conducted in the days following last week’s House hearing featuring the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter.

  • Many Americans were not aware of the hearing, but among those that were, Democrats were significantly more likely than Republicans to come away from it thinking better of the tech CEOs (59% vs. 35%).

Context: The insurrection occurred after President Trump told his supporters in a tweet to head to the Capitol.

  • Twitter permanently banned Trump’s account from the platform, and YouTube and Facebook indefinitely suspended his accounts.

The majority of Americans (58%) agree that Twitter and Facebook should still bar Trump from their platforms.

  • But there’s a partisan divide: 82% of Democrats agree with the decision while 27% of Republicans do. Meanwhile, 55% of independents agree.

Where it stands: Nearly two-thirds of Republicans (64%) say social media makes us even more divided, with a little more than a third (36%) say social media just reflects existing divisions.

  • It’s flipped for Democrats, 41% of whom say social media divides us and 59% saying it merely reflects existing divisions.

Read the full story at Axios.