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Social Media Bans for Hate Speech Supported Equally by Conservatives and Progressives

Ever since Donald Trump was banned from various social media platforms for inciting violence, thereby becoming the highest profile individual to be on the receiving end of such a ban, the debate has raged about whether or not the ban was valid. With the recent account suspensions of the rapper Kanye West following his antisemitic remarks, this debate has once again come to the fore.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that some try to claim that banning users for hate speech is a partisan issue, with the assumption being that liberals are in favor whilst conservatives oppose it. In spite of the fact that this is the case, a recent survey from YouGov has revealed that such policies receive rather broad bipartisan support from both sides of the aisle.

According to this survey, 76% of US Democrats support banning users who harass others on social media, and 66% of Republicans say the same. As for preventing the posting of racist and hateful content, 80% of Democrats believed that it should result in account suspension, whereas 58% of Republicans agreed. That suggests that a majority of both Democrats as well as Republicans favor these bans, although Republicans are less favorable about hate speech bans than might have been the case otherwise due to their emphasis on freedom of speech.

69% of Republicans stated that posting violent content warrants a ban, 67% said the same for promoting racism, 69% said that antisemitism in particular should result in a ban, and 64% wanted bans for any hate speech with all things having been considered and taken into account.

However, 69% of Republicans also said that social media platforms apply these rules arbitrarily, and they feel like they are treated unfairly. Bias can be risky because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up clamping down on one ideology in favor of the other, but there is no evidence of such bias so far. We will have to wait to see if the bias is confirmed.
Read next: Most Social Media Users Don’t Trust Facebook, Confirms New Survey

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