Washington: Washington divided over social media regulation, says Washington Northwest Poll
A large number of Washington residents resist moderation in social media content and rate the news they encounter online as at least half as false, according to a recent statewide poll.
Results of the Washington Poll, which was conducted among hundreds of Washington adults last month, showed mixed feelings when it comes to what information is being shared on social media and how it is done.
Republicans were more against moderation than Democrats, and the poll also showed that most people had moderate or little confidence in the accuracy of neighborhood groups like Nextdoor.
Questions about local social media groups, moderation in social media content, and the falsity of online news and information were asked to 719 registered voters in Washington.
As social media has grown into a An important source of news For Americans, discussions about free speech, elections, and disinformation on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have been contentious, said Gevin West, professor and director of the University of Washington. conscious audience center.
Overall, 48% of survey respondents said state governments should not be involved in regulating how social media platforms modify content, while 28% said governments should get involved.
However, 48% of people said social media platforms should restrict content or accounts that spread rumors, conspiracy theories or misinformation that could undermine confidence in voting in US elections. And 35 percent said social media platforms should not restrict content that could undermine confidence in elections.
The survey was sponsored by The Seattle Times, King 5 TV, the University of Washington Center for Informed Audiences and the Morrow College of Communication at Washington State University. These questions have a validity period of more or less than 4.5 percentage points.
Republicans were less inclined than Democrats to moderate on both questions, regardless of whether it was from the state government or the company itself.
This partisan divide is in line with the national narrative that each party is pushing, with Republicans claiming social media companies have suppressed conservative-leaning content and with Democrats arguing that companies need to do more to stamp out disinformation.
West said he was surprised to see a high percentage of people opposed to any kind of content editing on social media in light of recent discussions. Even Elon Musk, he said, a proponent of free speech on social media, tried to placate Twitter advertisers that the platform would not be. “A free hell scene for all.”
He said that while people support a “free and fair” market for ideas, social media companies have the potential to create unfair advantages for certain types of content.
“The platforms are making a lot of money from conspiracy theories,” West said. “There is a lot of engaging in conspiracy theories. Alex Jones is just one of many examples.”
The majority of survey respondents said they rate news and information about voting and elections that they regularly associate and share online as at least half wrong.
In the survey, 40% rated the information as about half false and half true, and 20% described the information as mostly or entirely false.
West said it might be worrying that people expect misinformation in their news environments – Although it can be good for people to be skeptical and question the information they see.
West said he was also surprised to learn how often people don’t trust information shared via local social media groups, such as Nextdoor or neighboring Facebook groups, to be accurate.
While the survey showed that only 35% get information from a local group on social media, 42% of those people said they have moderate confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the information being shared, and 32% of people said they don’t trust much. The question was asked to 254 people and the validity period was 7.4 percentage points.
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