Twenty-one percent (21%) of Registered Voters believe the federal government should impose regulations on social media companies to ensure equal opportunities for all points of view. However, a ScottRasmussen.com national survey finds that 79% believe companies like Facebook and Twitter should be allowed to manage their own users.
While conservatives are generally thought to be uncomfortable with government regulation, 27% of conservative voters want to see new regulations imposed on the social media giants. Liberal voters are a bit less supportive of the idea (see question wording and results).
This national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted September 6-7, 2018 for ScottRasmussen.com by HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Half of all voters (51%) believe that social media companies offer and unbiased platform for all users. Thirty-six percent (36%) believe they are biased against conservatives and 13% say they are biased against liberals. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republicans believe that social media companies are biased against conservatives. Just 18% of Democrats and 34% of independents share that concern.
Just over half of all voters (55%) believe government regulators are likely to be more biased than the social media companies. Most Democrats (70%) and Independents (57%) share this view. However, 64% of Republicans think the big tech companies will be more biased.
Even though private companies such as Facebook and Twitter are not bound by the First Amendment, America’s deep cultural commitment to free speech plays an important role in perceptions of social media. Sixty-six percent (66%) of voter believe free speech rights of individual users are more important than the ability of social media companies to monitor the content on their platform.
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Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).