Attitudes towards censorship of political movements in the United States of America: #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter. (2020)
AuthorsFox, Kate Margaret Dunbarshow all
American politics is divisive (like many political systems worldwide now), and there are calls for censorship and de-platforming which are arguably anti-democratic. On the other hand, there are some rather unprincipled political actors who are perhaps not entirely honest, so one could legitimately argue for censorship in some cases. The present work aimed to examine psychological biases which influence support of censorship of another person; specifically, either a BLM or ALM-supporting protester. Using an experimental design with two Mechanical Turk samples (Study 1 N = 294; Study 2 N = 428), the study finds support for the hypotheses that when people have an opposing view to a protester, they are more likely to believe the protester has an ulterior motive, think they are giving a political signal, have a negative perceptions of the protester, and think sharing their view would be harmful, thus increasing support of censorship. These results support and add to the current literature of censorship and collective activism.