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Poll: Most Americans favor restrictions on certain online content

A poll from the Pew Research Center shows that 55% of U.S. adults favor the federal government restricting false information online.
Poll: Most Americans favor restrictions on certain online content
Posted at 2:20 PM, Jul 27, 2023

The internet is full of informative and useful content, but there are also corners of the web that spread conspiracy theories and violent or disturbing content. How the content is regulated can get caught up in debates about free speech or artistic expression. 

Despite those concerns, most Americans appear in favor of restrictions on content with false information or violent rhetoric or imagery. 

A poll from the Pew Research Center shows that 55% of U.S. adults favor the federal government restricting false information online. That's an increase of 16 percentage points since 2018. 

Support is even higher when the government is not in the equation. The poll says 65% of people are in support of tech companies moderating false information online.

SEE MORE: Is technology moving too fast for online harassment legislation?

When it comes to extremely violent content, 71% of respondents said they were in favor of restrictions coming from the tech companies, while 60% were in favor of government restrictions.

Diving deeper in the numbers, there is a wide partisan gap when discussing content moderation. The poll notes that 39% of respondents who lean Republican think the government should regulate false information online. Democrats appear more trusting of the government — with 70% in favor of restrictions. 

Freedom of information, even if it means publishing false information, is a bigger priority for Republicans than Democrats. Nearly 60% say it should be protected, while only 28% of Democrats feel the same way.

SEE MORE: Biden administration appeals ruling over new social media limits


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