https://www.theepochtimes.com/half-of-americans-believe-social-media-companies-are-biased-in-applying-rules-on-censorship-fact-checking-poll_4805943.html

Half of Americans think social media companies are biased when it comes to fact-checking and censoring posts, new research shows.

Polling by YouGov conducted from Oct. 12–14 among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens asked respondents, “Do you think social media companies are fair in applying the rules for fact-checking and censorship or do you think they are biased?”

An overwhelming 50 percent of Americans responded “yes,” while 29 percent said they are unsure. Another 21 percent said they believe social media companies are fair when it comes to applying such rules.

Almost 70 percent of Republicans polled believe Big Tech giants are biased in such behavior, 34 percent of Democrats, and 50 percent of independents.

The poll also sought to find under what circumstances Americans think social media companies should step in and suspend a user’s account.

It found that the majority of respondents agreed that companies should do so when the accounts post content that falls into a category of violent content (77 percent), content that promotes racial division (75 percent), anti-Semitic content (74 percent), hate speech (73 percent), and disinformation (65 percent).

However, while at least 8 in 10 Democrats support suspension in each of the above five cases, Republicans were more divided on the issue.

Roughly two-thirds of Republicans agreed with suspending an account that posts each of the following: violent content (69 percent), content that promotes racial division (67 percent), anti-Semitic content (69 percent), and hate speech (64 percent).

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Just half of Republicans supported suspending an account that was deemed to be sharing disinformation.

“One reason why Republicans may be less supportive of online content regulation than Democrats is that they are far more likely to believe that social media companies are biased in how they apply rules related to fact-checking and censorship,” authors of the poll noted, adding that just 16 percent of Republicans said they believe social media platforms apply rules in these areas in a fair way, while 69 percent believe they are biased.

“Democrats are more divided: 34 percent say they are fair and 28 percent say they are biased. Many Democrats (39 percent) are unsure how fair social media sites are in applying their rules; just 15 percent of Republicans are unsure,” the authors wrote.

Additionally, the poll found that members of both major parties believe social media companies have a responsibility to prevent harassment and hate speech on their sites.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have repeatedly come under fire for censoring content, raising concerns about freedom of speech.

Most recently, Twitter suspended renowned Texas-based internist and cardiologist, Dr. Peter McCullough, who has raised questions about the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Twitter claimed that I violated the community rules after thousands of consistent posts on scientific abstracts, and manuscripts,” McCullough told NTD’s “Capitol Report.” “This was very carefully done. I was bringing the world the truth on pandemic response through the media and this was purely of the highest scientific integrity and analysis, and my tweeting pattern didn’t change.”

The latest poll by YouGov comes shortly after Twitter and Instagram also suspended billionaire rapper Kanye West over content that was accused of being anti-Semitic.

West, who is now known as Ye, announced on Oct. 17 that he is purchasing the free-speech-focused social media app, Parler.

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Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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