Most Americans, but not most Republicans, support Twitter’s permanent suspension of President Donald Trump after the deadly U.S. Capitol siege, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll shared exclusively with USA TODAY.
A majority of Americans – 61% – said they agreed with Twitter’s decision to ban Trump over the risk the president would use the platform to incite further violence, while 39% opposed it.
“Americans were outraged by what they saw at the Capitol last week, and they’re looking for leadership from the business community,” John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, told USA TODAY in a statement. “In the absence of action from political leaders, they see a Twitter ban as a reasonable step – and one that will hopefully prevent future dangerous situations.”
But in a vivid representation of the nation’s raw divisions, opinions split along partisan lines, with 36% of Republicans supporting the ban versus 80% of Democrats and 59% of independents.
The removal of Trump’s Twitter account has sparked censorship concerns among Republicans. More than a third of Americans – 36% – said they were concerned about censorship, but that view was not held by the majority: 69% said social media companies should be able to remove users they consider dangerous, even if it’s the president of the United States.
And 40% of Americans say Trump should have been banned earlier and described Twitter’s removal as “too little, too late.”
Thirty-seven percent of the 1,951 American adults surveyed over the weekend said they were embarrassed that Trump was banned.
Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement “President Trump’s actions this week were dangerous and removing him from Twitter was the correct thing to do.” Forty-two percent agreed with the statement “I am concerned that Twitter permanently suspending President Trump sets a dangerous precedent with technology companies censoring free speech and government officials.”
Another poll from Morning Consult released Tuesday found that half of the 2,200 Americans surveyed over the weekend about Twitter’s permanent ban and Facebook’s temporary ban believe social media companies should have cut off Trump earlier. About 39% of the Americans surveyed said the temporary ban was “exactly right,”
But again opinions differed by party: 69% of Republicans said the suspensions went too far, while 43% said they didn’t go far enough.