Press Release: “Just a few years ago, Americans were overwhelmingly optimistic about the power of new technologies to foster an informed and engaged society. More recently, however, that confidence has been challenged by emerging concerns over the role that internet and technology companies — especially social media — now play in our democracy.
A new Knight Foundation and Gallup study explores how much the landscape has shifted. This wide-ranging study confirms that, for Americans, the techlash is real, widespread, and bipartisan. From concerns about the spread of misinformation to election interference and data privacy, we’ve documented the deep pessimism of folks across the political spectrum who believe tech companies have too much power — and that they do more harm than good.
Despite their shared misgivings, Americans are deeply divided on how best to address these challenges. This report explores the contours of the techlash in the context of the issues currently animating policy debates in Washington and Silicon Valley. Below are the main findings from the executive summary….
- 77% of Americans say major internet and technology companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have too muchpower.
- Americans are equally divided among those who favor (50%) and oppose (49%) government intervention that would require internet and technology companies to break into smaller companies.
- Americans do not trust social media companies much (44%) or at all (40%) to make the right decisions about what content should or should not be allowed on online platforms.
- However, they would still prefer the companies (55%) to make those decisions rather than the government (44%). …(More)“