Pew: Fewer Americans Want More Government Regulation of Big Tech Companies

Respondents who identify as conservative Republicans saw 'particularly pronounced' movement

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While a healthy chunk of adults in the U.S. still believe there should be more government regulation of major technology platforms, those numbers are dropping, while the reverse is true for those who want to see less government regulation, according to a new study from Pew Research Center.

Research associate Emily A. Vogels wrote in the introduction to the study, “A declining share of Americans favor more government regulation of major technology companies, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Still, a plurality of U.S. adults favors greater regulation of these companies, and a large majority believe it is at least somewhat likely that social media sites censor political viewpoints they find objectionable.”

Pew’s survey was conducted between April 25 and May 1, and 44% of respondents believe major tech companies should be regulated more than they currently are, down from 56% in April 2021, while the share of respondents who believe there should be less government regulation of tech companies roughly doubled over the same time period, from 9% to approximately one out of five.

Respondents who identify as conservative Republicans saw “particularly pronounced” movement, as Pew found that 35% favor greater regulation of the tech sector, down from 59% in April 2021, while 36% want less regulation, up from 11% over the same time period.

Other finding included:

  • 58% of respondents who identify as liberal Democrats favor more government regulation of big tech firms, down from 70% in April 2021, while 32% believe the current level of government regulation is “just right,” up from 23%.
  • 77% of respondents believe it is very or somewhat likely that social media platforms intentionally censor political viewpoints they find objectionable, with 41% in the very likely camp.
  • 44% believe major technology companies tend to support the views of liberals over conservatives, while 37% believe both ideologies are treated equally and 15% believe conservatives are favored over liberals.