More Americans believe the government, tech firms should take steps to restrict false...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,605   +139
Staff member
A hot potato: Nearly half of US adults (48 percent) believe the government should take steps to restrict the spread of false information online, even if it limits freedom of information. That’s up from just 39 percent in 2018, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

On the flip side, 59 percent of survey takers believe tech companies should be the ones to take steps to restrict the spread of misinformation online. That’s an increase of three percent over the 56 percent that felt the same way three years ago.

When asked if the US government should protect freedom of information, even if it means false information can be published, 50 percent of those polled this year agreed with that idea. That’s down from 58 percent when presented in 2018. Conversely, 39 percent in 2021 believe the onus falls on tech companies, down from 42 percent a few years ago.

Pew further notes that partisan divisions have widened regarding the role of government and tech companies as it relates to restricting the sharing of misinformation online.

In short, democrats are more in favor of restrictions as it relates to the spread of false information online while republicans are more interested in protecting freedom of information.

Pew used data collected from 11,178 panelists between July 26 and August 8, 2021, for its survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percent.

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Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,808   +1,434
We need a digital bill of rights. Currently your data is at the mercy of the people you give it to. When it comes to law enforcement, the police or a lawyer does not need a warrant to access your digital devices. But they would if they wanted to access your home as you have rights to protect you from harassment.
 

Robertrogue

Posts: 109   +71
The most insane thing, is the lack of common sense among most individuals. Hence this "poll" shows it free and clear. Just take a couple of seconds and look at the information or lack there of. Most of the information they claim to be false is opinionated statements or some form of someone's opinionated "facts". Just watch the media and how they leave out very specific information to prove their "side" of the facts.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,724   +5,151
Most of the information they claim to be false is opinionated statements or some form of someone's opinionated "facts". Just watch the media and how they leave out very specific information to prove their "side" of the facts.
IMO, it is not only the media. Events of the past year have shown, in the US, at least, how someone popular is able to influence millions of people with an opinionated statement - even though that statement did not stand any reasonable test in court.

As much as I don't want to say it, I'll reiterate that "You can't fix stupid" or "cultish followers" who believe that a leader would not lie to them in the form of an opinionated statement, or any form at all, for that matter.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,973   +2,305
TechSpot Elite
There is no obvious line between false and true, on vast arrays of topics it will always be arbitrary and very ill-defined. This is a nice pipe dream for someone but will always result in limiting some free speech.

And the chances that suppressing even obviously fake info will change the minds of zero people who already believe it. We're left then with the people in the center trying to parse everyone's motivations. What a mess.
 
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Angga B

Posts: 159   +135
Well, who am I to say that they should stop digging their own graves if they so insist?
Go, 'murica, faster and stronger. Let it be done quick.
 

Impudicus

Posts: 246   +237
The government absolutely should not control the press or media. Most of this "false" information is opinions of actual reports that appear to be like news stories. Many people have seem to have lost the ability to discern editorial from actual news, and no thanks to news outlets blurring the lines between the two as well. Then mix in social media, an absolute gossip machine, and we end up with our current mess.
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 787   +994
Well, who am I to say that they should stop digging their own graves if they so insist?
Go, 'murica, faster and stronger. Let it be done quick.
At this point this is a global problem. It doesn't matter where you're from anymore. If you post anything on social media that is considered remotely controversial, even if you live on Sentinel Island so to speak, it will get "fact checked", I.e. censored.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 626   +538
The government absolutely should not control the press or media. Most of this "false" information is opinions of actual reports that appear to be like news stories. Many people have seem to have lost the ability to discern editorial from actual news, and no thanks to news outlets blurring the lines between the two as well. Then mix in social media, an absolute gossip machine, and we end up with our current mess.

Which was known to be a thing over a century ago. People don't want the news; they want their own opinions reinforced. They'll latch on to anything that sounds like it makes sense, and it's almost impossible to change peoples opinions once they have their minds made up.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,310   +2,556
There's not a single point in time in recent history at which the US hasn't *already* suppressed and controlled information, either directly or done just by an ideological bias supported by huge media conglomerates (hint: having just 3 separate companies control *all* media was basically done to do this).

It just doesn't gets talked about it or brought up because it's so thoroughly done nobody even thinks to consider things like Socialism or Anarchism because of this decades long propaganda effort.

The only issue is that the same mechanism put in place to create this effort are not over-correcting and going into damaging fringes of climate denialism, anti vaccination sentiment, etc. But make no mistake: the DNC actually *wants* to continue to have propaganda that's pro-neoliberalism and anti-socialist. This arguments about greater control is just a narrow disagreement with the political enemies on the GOP that they consider have taken things a step too far.

The only fundamental difference here is that the DNC is ok with continuing the crushing advances of neoliberalism while the GOP wants to immediately escalate to full-blown, open Fascism.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 590   +469
At this point this is a global problem. It doesn't matter where you're from anymore. If you post anything on social media that is considered remotely controversial, even if you live on Sentinel Island so to speak, it will get "fact checked", I.e. censored.
9/11 was not a terrorist attack!

It was a defensive response to terrorist attacks by criminals in the U.S.

Fact Checks Welcomed!
(Evidence Required)
 

psycros

Posts: 3,704   +4,666
There's not a single point in time in recent history at which the US hasn't *already* suppressed and controlled information, either directly or done just by an ideological bias supported by huge media conglomerates (hint: having just 3 separate companies control *all* media was basically done to do this).

It just doesn't gets talked about it or brought up because it's so thoroughly done nobody even thinks to consider things like Socialism or Anarchism because of this decades long propaganda effort.

The only issue is that the same mechanism put in place to create this effort are not over-correcting and going into damaging fringes of climate denialism, anti vaccination sentiment, etc. But make no mistake: the DNC actually *wants* to continue to have propaganda that's pro-neoliberalism and anti-socialist. This arguments about greater control is just a narrow disagreement with the political enemies on the GOP that they consider have taken things a step too far.

The only fundamental difference here is that the DNC is ok with continuing the crushing advances of neoliberalism while the GOP wants to immediately escalate to full-blown, open Fascism.

Who's been doing all the cancelling and censoring? Who conspired with Big Media and Big Tech to disenfranchise Republican voters and deny the massive amount of election fraud? Yeah, we all know exactly who the real fascists are.
 

Scrye74

Posts: 53   +86
I guess the question, posed in the survey, wasn't "Would like YOUR opinions and 'truth' banned as misinformation by government and big tech?".
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 655   +498
Americans are stupid and I say that as a stupid American

I never know what to make of those articles like " 50% of Americans do not know if Mexico is to the South or the North)
Given that's just guessing - I think the actually figure was something like 35% - well you would think Texans , latinos and that communists hell hole Ca. would know.

I just assume lots of people purposely answer it wrong