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Report: American Public in Favor of Big Tech Regulation

Australian regulators are to look at the impact of digital platforms like Google and Facebook on competition in media and advertising markets
AFP

According to a recently published survey, the majority of Americans are worried that the U.S. government won’t do enough to regulate big tech companies.

A survey conducted by Axios and SurveyMonkey has revealed that the majority of Americans are worried about the growing power of large tech companies and the government’s failure to regulate them. According to the poll, in just the past three months concern over government inaction to regulate tech companies rose by 15 percentage points. This represents a large shift in the public perception of Silicon Valley in a short period of time, which may be partly due to the increased reliance on tech in people everyday lives.

According to the Axios-SurveyMonkey poll from November, shortly after representatives of Facebook, Google, and Twitter testified before Congress about their role in the 2016 presidential elections, approximately four in 10 Americans were worried that the government would fail to adequately regulate tech giants. That number has now increased to 55 percent of the general public. Republicans who are typically skeptical of government regulation also saw a large increase to 45 percent, which may be due to allegations of bias against conservatives from companies such as Google and Facebook. Independents showed the biggest shift in opinion from a minority of 37 percent worrying about the regulation of tech companies to a majority of 57 percent.

Axios reports that:

  • More than eight in 10 — including big majorities across party lines — blame the technology companies for not doing more to safeguard their platforms against election interference.

  • When asked whether social media does more to help promote democracy and free speech or does more to hurt democracy and free speech, most Americans (55%) now say social media does more to hurt democracy and free speech than it helps.

The survey was conducted from February 21-23, 2018 with 3,574 adult participants in the United States. The modeled error estimate for the survey is 2.5 percent.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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