Tech Poll

Executive Summary

In the latest installment of our ongoing poll (administered by YouGov), we continue to unpack how Americans view their relationship with today’s major tech platforms.

This survey not only captures how Americans view tech, but also answers important questions ranging from how these companies should be regulated to how views about technology differ based on gender, political ideology, and education.

Along with our ongoing questions about which tech companies Americans trust and which they think should be broken up, we also asked questions about: 

  • What are Americans most concerned or excited about when it comes to AI adoption?
  • How do Americans feel about age verification methods?
  • Do Americans trust popular social media platforms to be safe for children to use?


Distrust of Tech Companies

  • TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook continue to be the most distrusted companies.
  • Americans continue to have significantly greater levels of trust in Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple than any level of government.

Artificial Intelligence

  • When it comes to concerns about AI, Americans are most worried about job loss and national security and least concerned about killer computers and bias.
  • When it comes to the potential benefits of AI, Americans are most optimistic about increases in efficiency and greater innovation.
  • Americans largely support greater regulation of AI, but they are unsure as to whether specific technologies use AI.
    • 74% of Americans agree that generative AI companies should be held responsible for false or inaccurate responses to user prompts.
    • 70% agree that it is necessary for a government agency to ensure safety before implementing cutting-edge AI techniques in the private sector.
    • When asked whether specific technologies used AI, at least a third of Americans expressed uncertainty for each technology.

Content and User Moderation

  • Americans increasingly and overwhelmingly agree that social media companies are justified in content moderation:
    • 79% agree that social media companies are justified in removing users that violate their rules.
    • 72% agree that social media companies are justified in removing content that they think poses a risk to public health and safety.
    • 74% agree that social media companies are justified in removing elected officials that violate their rules.
    • 65% support platforms removing disruptive users and 59% support removing disruptive elected officials.
  • Americans are largely uncomfortable with the government and social media companies collaborating in content moderation.

Republicans (60%) are far more likely to express discomfort than Democrats (60% of Republicans versus 34%).

Free Speech, Traditional News, and Media

  • Americans hold some contradicting views regarding free speech, news, and social media.
    • Though 88% agree that free speech is necessary for promoting equality and social change,
      • 74% agree that news outlets should be fined for biased or inaccurate information.
      • 62% agree that platforms should be held responsible for offensive content.

Being Political Online

  • 61% of Americans agree that social media platforms have become the primary channel by which important public policy conversations are taking place. Other numbers for this topic are mixed:
    • 70% say that they avoid political conversations online.
    • 40% say that they don’t feel comfortable sharing political views online, down from 48% in our most recent poll.
    • Only 25% of Americans say that they primarily use social media to share political beliefs with others.

Children and Social Media

  • The majority of Americans remain uncomfortable with the idea of providing a government ID to social media companies in order to verify their age. Even more are opposed to providing their child's government identification.
  • However, the majority of Americans still believe that social media causes more harm than good to children.
    • Older Americans are more likely to express the view that social media causes more harm than good to children.

Survey Methodology

Results for this CGO/YouGov Tech Poll poll are based on web-based panel participants August 8-16, 2023. The data is weighted to be representative of the US 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 ±3.44 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.