In the days following the assault carried out by rioters and insurrectionists at the United States Capitol building on January 6, 2021, President Donald Trump saw his online empire pulled out from under him. He was banned on Facebook, Twitter, and a slew of other platforms that decided to cut ties with the sitting President, fearing that he might stoke further violence. Tech companies have long been hesitant to take action against Trump and other controversial users, but surveying conducted by Blind, an anonymous professional network, found that employees at major tech firms widely support the decision to suspend or remove Trump entirely.
Blind surveyed more than 6,200 people who work at major tech and finance firms, including social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, to see where the industries stand on the crackdown on Trump. They found that 76 percent of all respondents believed that social media companies did the right thing by suspending and ultimately banning Trump from their platforms, compared to just 24 percent who viewed it as an “attack on free speech.”
Support for the ban jumps to nearly eight in 10 among employees at Facebook and Twitter, where the biggest suspensions were handed down. Eighty percent of Facebook employees surveyed said they believe that banning Trump was the correct decision. Similarly, three-fourths of all Twitter employees surveyed — 75 percent — said they believed that the right call was made.
Elsewhere around the tech world, support for the ban was similarly high. Blind found that 76 percent of Amazon employees, 74 percent of Googlers, 73 of Microsoft workers, and 71 percent of Apple employees all believe that social media companies did the right thing.
“An average Joe user gets banned from [Facebook] and Twitter for the slightest political incorrectness,” a Microsoft employee said in response to the survey, according to Blind. “Trump got a free pass for so long because he is the President. Today though, he went full clockwork orange. He needs to step down — banning from Twitter and Facebook isn’t even a slap on the wrist.”
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While Blind’s survey only asked for opinions on Twitter and Facebook’s decision to ban Trump, other companies also suspend or take action against the President. Of the companies surveyed that also ended up taking action against Trump, there was widespread support of the social media bans among their employees.
Blind found that 84 percent of employees at Pinterest, which itself has limiting Trump content and hashtags like #StopTheSteal, supported the social media crackdown. Every employee at payment processor Stripe, which has since announced that it will no longer process donations made to 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 the widespread de-platforming of Trump will surely continue to create controversy and potentially even lead to new legislation on Big Tech, opinions throughout the industry appear to be clear. Employees at the biggest firms in tech appear to believe that Trump left the companies no choice but to take action.