Home Majority of Americans think social media firms have too much power, finds survey

Majority of Americans think social media firms have too much power, finds survey

Most Americans are wary of social media companies and their role in politics and the future of the country, according to a new survey of U.S. adults.

The Pew Research Center has published findings from a study looking at social media’s impact on politics and the country, political censorship and bias, and the government regulation of technology companies.

Since 2020, more Americans now believe social media companies wield too much political power, with Democrats heavily falling into the ‘too much’ category.

“Roughly eight-in-ten Americans (78%) say these companies have too much power and influence in politics today,” according to the survey of 10,133 U.S. adults which was conducted between February 7 – 11, 2024.

The number of people who believe social media has ‘too much’ power is up from 72% in 2020.

With conversations around regulation being rife this year, with the potential for apps like TikTok to be banned in the coming months, the long-running debate about what the government should do has become tense.

In this report, Americans have been found to favor more rather than less regulation of Big Tech companies.

Pew Research Center finds about half of Americans support government regulation of major tech companies

“When asked whether the government should regulate major technology companies more, less or at its current level, 51% believe these companies should be regulated more than they are now.

“Far fewer – 16% – feel they should be regulated less than they are now.”

Democrats were found to be most supportive of increased government oversight of technology companies. While this party’s overall view in the study favors the government, Republicans widely believe that major technology companies have a pro-liberal bias.

“By contrast, the most commonly held view among Democrats is that technology companies support the views of conservatives and liberals equally, with 50% saying this.

“Roughly a quarter of Democrats either say that these companies favour the views of conservatives over liberals (25%) or liberals over conservatives (22%).”

Americans believe social media isn’t good for the future

When looking at the age-old question of how social media is affecting the country, the overall view is looking quite bleak.

Pew Research Center has found that democrats' view of social media's impact on the U.S. have grown more negative since 2020, but negative views are still more widespread among the GOP

A mere 10% describe social media as having a mostly positive impact, with 64% saying it has a mostly negative effect on the way things are going in the country today.

The majorities in both political parties see social media’s impact on the country negatively, but Republicans are more concerned than Democrats (71% vs. 59%).

The number of Democrats who believe the platforms have a mostly bad impact has risen since 2020, with an increase of 6%.

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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