Voters Want to Limit Big Tech’s Influence
By Movieguide® Staff
The results of a recent survey show that approximately 80% of registered voters favor the idea that the federal government should “curb the influence of big tech companies.”
Big tech has exercised extensive overreach over the last several months, including cracking down on conservative content while freely allowing terrorist organizations to recruit on platforms like Facebook.
The poll, conducted by Benenson Strategy Group in conjunction with Public Opinion Strategies, gathered relevant data from 2,016 registered voters.
In a society that is often defined by stringent political polarization, the survey found that – on many issues regarding perceived problems with Big Tech – right-wingers and left-wingers share similar views, particularly when it comes to regulating the power such technology companies possess.
83% of Democrats as well as 78% of Republicans from the survey concurred that U.S. government intervention for the purpose of controlling tech companies’ interference in their lives would be beneficial.
Such interferences on the part of major tech groups, for instance, include Facebook’s limiting platform data accessible to media researchers and Google’s censorship of ads from the anti-abortion advocacy group Live Action. And these are but a few of the recent concerns.
Likewise, 84% of Democrats and 85% of Republicans represented in the poll were “very nervous” about the ramifications that the use of social media can have on minors.
Social media has a long track record of causing a range of mental health dilemmas in children.
Given the visually-stimulating content proliferating across these platforms, youthful audiences are exposed to unrealistic, perfectionist models of body image and to unhealthy sexual tendencies.
Numerous child suicides have been linked to Instagram and have even been posted to the platform.
The Future of Tech Commission anticipates using the data collected via the survey to spur policymakers to strive for the limiting of these Internet giants’ power.
A co-chair of the commission, Deval Patrick – who is a former governor of Massachusetts, holds that the results of the survey point to the need for massive tech companies “to operate within boundaries,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
The two remaining co-chairs to the Future of Tech Commission are Jim Steyer, the founder of Common Sense Media – a nonprofit company devoted to family-friendly media advocacy and analysis, and Margaret Spellings – previously the education secretary for former President George W. Bush’s administration.
“What we hear consistently is that people want and expect federal leadership,” said Spellings, according to the WSJ.
According to the voters’ responses, gaining better privacy settings and holding big tech companies accountable are among the topmost priorities.
While Big Tech corporations tend to deny accusations that they hold too much sway over tech markets, some of them seem open to various changes, even along the lines of stricter privacy policies.
Among the tech companies that seem to be trying to keep an open mind to such alterations is Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, which also owns Instagram.
At a recent congressional meeting, Steve Satterfield, the social media company’s vice president of privacy and public policy, confirmed its support for “more consistent data-protection standards.”
According to the WSJ, Facebook declared in a statement that it has been “advocating for updated internet regulations for some time. We’ll continue working with Congress and the administration to set clear and fair rules that support a safe and secure open internet.”
Movieguide® has personally dealt with big tech censorship.
As we reported in 2020:
In April, during the peak of the stay-at-home orders, we launched a short testimonial from our founder, Dr. Ted Baehr, sharing his testimony and the Gospel on YouTube. We wanted to reach those stuck at home with a message of hope.
Initially, the video reached nearly a half-million people, and thousands of them clicked through to our webpage where they made a decision for Christ and were given a Bible and connected to a local church.
Right as that video began to gather momentum, Google blocked it from receiving more views because it “violated their terms of service.”
After a lengthy battle with Google, we were able to prove that the video did not violate their terms of service.
Of course we knew we were within the parameters of their terms of service, but this is a larger ongoing and increasingly concerning trend.
This last week, we sent out an email to our mailing list telling you about this censorship.
Ironically, it was censored by many of the largest email providers “for content,” resulting in nearly 50,000 of our subscribers being unable to receive the message from us.
Our friends over at the hugely popular Christian satire site, The Babylon Bee, fought with Facebook this week. Facebook stripped the Bee’s ability to make money from their content on Facebook’s platform–all because of a clearly satirical article that referenced a famous MONTY PYTHON scene.
The issue here is not that any of us have actually violated these tech company’s vague community standards … it’s that big tech is reaching, stretching as hard as they can, to treat us as if we have.
Because they’re actively engaged in suppressing any view that doesn’t fall in lockstep with their own.
Just this week, three top employees at YouTube were caught on video talking about how the largest search provider in the world skews their algorithm, tampers with news search results, and censors political views!
If this doesn’t frighten you, it should.
These companies have incredible power to not only influence culture, but to bend truth. They’ve already begun their attacks on us and many other faith-based companies. Some of us are able to fight back, many are not. That’s why we need our audiences to understand the threat, not only to us as a ministry, but to the future of free access to information, and the future of our country!