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NEW YORK: Almost 7 out of 10 Americans think social media platforms purposely censor political viewpoints, the Pew Research Center found in a study released on Thursday.
The study comes amid an ongoing debate over the power of digital technology companies and the way they do business. Social media companies in particular, including Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, have recently come under scrutiny for failing to promptly tackle the problem of fake news as more Americans consume news on their platforms.
In the study of 4,594 U.S. adults, conducted between May 29 and June 11, roughly 72% of the respondents believed that social media platforms actively censored political views those companies found unpleasant.
The perception that technology companies were politically biased and suppressed political speech was especially widespread among Republicans, the study showed.
About 85% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the survey thought it was likely for social media sites to intentionally censor political viewpoints, with 54% saying it was “very” likely.
64% of Republicans also thought major technology companies as a whole supported the views of liberals over conservatives.
A majority of the respondents, or 51%, said technology companies should be regulated more than they are now, while only 9% said they should be regulated less.