- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2018

More than three out of four conservatives feel an unfriendly vibe online, saying that social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram intentionally censor political viewpoints they consider objectionable, according to a new survey.

The Pew Research Center poll released Thursday found that 85 percent of Republicans think social media sites intentionally try to muzzle certain political opinions, with 64 percent feeling as if big technology companies typically favor liberal posters over conservatives. In all, 72 percent of Americans feel that social media platforms censor political views that they may find objectionable.

“In the midst of an ongoing debate over the power of digital technology companies and the way they do business, sizable shares of Americans believe these companies privilege the views of certain groups over others,” Pew researchers said.

The survey of 4,594 adults found that political partisans have strikingly differing views towards social media platforms, and while seeing the companies as a source of bias, many still say that the overall social impact of big technology companies has been positive.

Millennials were often at odds with their seniors on how they view big technology.

Some 67 percent of adults aged 18-29 say it is likely that sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram censor political views, compared to 81 percent of seniors who would agree.

With all of the problems Americans have with big technology, Americans still find that they have a positive impact on their lives.

Though survey respondents said that companies like Facebook and Twitter often have a positive impact on society, many are skeptical of big technology companies — just 25 percent of adults saying that they trust big technology companies to “do what’s right” most of the time.

“As technology companies have taken on an increasingly central role in the media landscape and broader economy, they have been drawn into a number of controversies relating to the perception that they actively support or promote certain viewpoints over others,” the Pew Research Center said in its analysis of the numbers.

Although a large majority of Republicans saw political censorship on social media, only 44 percent said the big technology companies should be regulated more.


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