Pew: 73% of Dems Approve of Social Media ‘Fact-Checking’ Politicians

August 25th, 2020 1:49 PM

A recent study found that Americans are divided strongly along party lines over whether they approve or disapprove of Big Tech companies fact-checking politicians.

Seventy-three percent of Democrats said they “strongly or somewhat approve” of Big Tech “labeling posts on their platforms from elected officials as inaccurate or misleading,” while “71% of Republicans say they at least somewhat disapprove,” Pew Research Center (Pew) reported in a study August 19.

There is a distinction between how Americans feel about fact-checking in general, versus how they feel about fact-checking politicians specifically. 

On one hand, the study found the divide between those who approve or disapprove of Big Tech labelling posts from elected officials for accuracy is more evenly split:

“Some 51% of Americans say they strongly or somewhat approve of social media companies labeling posts from elected officials on their platforms as inaccurate or misleading, while a similar share (46%) say they at least somewhat disapprove of this.”

Republicans in particular are “far more likely than Democrats to say they have no confidence at all that social media companies would be able to determine which posts on their platforms should be labeled as inaccurate or misleading (50% vs. 11%).”

By contrast, the American public is more unified in believing that Big Tech checking posts in general, is highly suspect:

“Overall, a majority of Americans (66%) say they have not too much or no confidence at all in social media companies being able to determine which posts on their platforms should be labeled as inaccurate or misleading, with 31% saying they have a great deal or some confidence.”

Pew trumpeted the fact that Republicans specifically have grown more wary of Big Tech bias as the election has come closer, citing a “slight uptick” in Republicans who believe censorship on social media is the norm since 2018. “Fully 90% of Republicans say that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable – with 60% saying this is very likely the case. By comparison, fewer Democrats believe this to be very (19%) or somewhat (40%) likely.”

This is not the only sharp partisan divide Pew reported, however. As the article explained: “Today, 69% of Republicans and Republican leaners say major technology companies generally support the views of liberals over conservatives, compared with 25% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.”

The same study also found that 73 percent of U.S adults believe social media companies censor the political viewpoints of their users. 

Their beliefs are justified by an extensive history of documented censorship. 

Big tech companies have silenced at least 260 critics of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as the 2020 election approaches. Twitter, for example, has even censored sitting president Donald Trump. In late May, Twitter fact-checked Trump for suggesting that mail-in ballots could lead to voter fraud, a concern even The New York Times has acknowledged to be valid. Reddit has censored nearly 7,000 subreddit forums for “hate,” according to the company’s quarterly report.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact the FCC at 1-888-225-5322 and/or via the MRC’s FCC contact form to give your take on the petition filed by the Department of Commerce regarding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives.