Distrust of government
Following the 2020 election, Republican distrust of the federal government properly using personal data has spiked, while Democrat distrust dropped.
Regulation of tech companies
- Around half of Americans would like to see the largest tech firms broken up
- Majorities support free speech in principle, while also supporting increased restrictions on social media content. Older Americans are more likely than younger ones to support such regulations.
- Both liberals and conservatives want to crack down on social media companies but are not united as to how do so
Around half of Americans want to break up Facebook (53%), Amazon (48%) and Google (44%), but many others are unsure.
Most Americans support free speech in principle (81%). At the same time, majorities support requiring that social media be held responsible for false posts (62%) or offensive content (53%).
The conventional wisdom is that younger Americans are more supportive of restrictions on speech. However, while they are less supportive of free speech in principle, they are actually less likely to support actual restrictions than older Americans.
A majority of conservatives and liberals support breaking up big tech companies (60% and 54%, respectively). However, conservatives are more divided as to whether greater government regulation is the right approach (41% agree vs. 44% disagree).
The news media
When asked whether “most news coverage is good for American society”, Americans are split nearly evenly (41% agree, while 43% disagree). However, a large majority (71%) support fining media outlets for “reporting biased or inaccurate information.”
Social media and politics
Only a minority of Americans use social media primarily to share their political beliefs (23%), and many are uncomfortable with doing so (49%). However, a majority recognize social media’s role as a platform for “important public policy conversations (55%).
Results for this CGO/YouGov Tech Poll poll are based on web-based panel participants August 26-31, 2021. The data is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population. Some numbers provided above have been rounded for clarity. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3.43 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.