Facebook Favorability Slightly Improves Following Announcement That Trump’s Ban Will End
The public’s favorability for Facebook slightly improved following the announcement that the social media giant will end its two-year suspension of former President Donald Trump’s accounts and allow him to return to Facebook and Instagram, according to data from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence. The improvement in perception was driven largely by Republicans, while views of the platform among Democrats remained largely the same.
Slight Boost in Facebook’s Favorability After Meta Announces Lifting of Trump’s Ban
Facebook’s favorability increases, but Meta’s favorability mostly stays the same
- Facebook favorability climbed to 61% for the week ending Feb. 5, an increase of 4 percentage points from where it stood during the week of Jan. 2-8. The uptick was driven largely by Republicans, among whom Facebook saw a 9-point jump in favorability during the same period.
- Trust in Facebook remained largely stable over the survey period, with a 1-point bump to 43% from the week of Jan. 2-8 to Jan. 30-Feb. 5 — though it is 4 points higher than its low of 38% during the week of Jan. 16-22, days ahead of the announcement of Trump’s reinstatement on Jan. 25.
- Among Democrats, trust in Facebook and favorability for the platform have been mostly stable when accounting for the margin of error.
- Trust in Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, sat at 27% among all U.S. adults as of Feb. 5, but saw noteworthy shifts among political parties. Trust in Meta improved 8 points to 31% among Republicans during the survey period, while it declined 5 points to 30% among Democrats.
Trump’s accounts will still face scrutiny
The increase in trust and favorability for Facebook comes after parent company Meta announced on Jan. 25 that Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated in the coming weeks, coinciding with the former president’s campaign for a second term in the White House. Voters were slightly more likely to support the decision to end the suspension, though opinion was split along party lines, Morning Consult found.
The trust numbers, though improving, come at a time when most Americans believe social media platforms are on the wrong track, according to a recent Morning Consult survey.
While Trump is expected to return to Meta’s platforms later this year, he faces hurdles in what he will be able to post. Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, warned that the former president would face heightened penalties for any future rule-breaking, including suspensions of up to two years.
A future suspension, particularly while Trump is actively campaigning for the presidency, could affect the reputation of the company and the platform — though a Morning Consult survey in January 2021 found a plurality of adults believed that the initial decision to suspend Trump was the right call at the time.
Morning Consult Brand Intelligence results are based on daily surveys conducted Jan. 2-Feb. 5, 2023, among an average sample of 3,477 respondents across a total of 28 polls, with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.