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Exclusive: Poll shows wide distrust of tech, media

·2 min read

Americans largely think tech giants are too big and should be regulated, and mostly don't believe the news media is good for U.S. society, according to a poll from YouGov and the Center for Growth and Opportunity shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: After an ugly election season marred by extremism on social and traditional media, people are feeling wary of the places they consume news and share their personal information.

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  • The findings show that tech companies and news organizations have a lot of work to do to maintain and grow trust.

By the numbers: The poll, which has a 3.3% margin of error, surveyed 1,000 people shortly after the 2020 presidential election. Of those participants, two-thirds said social media companies should ban hate groups.

  • 63% of baby boomers polled said the government should regulate social media, while 40% of Generation Z agreed.

  • Two-thirds of those polled say big tech companies are too big, although less than half said they think the government should break them up.

  • There's a range of opinions on which tech companies are most trustworthy: 40% of 996 people polled said they "completely distrust" Facebook on handling personal data. For Google, that number was 22%; for Amazon, it was 14%; for Microsoft, it was 15%.

Views on the news: 69% of those polled say news companies and media outlets should be fined for reporting biased or inaccurate information.

  • 29% of participants "somewhat agree" that most news coverage is good for American society.

Between the lines: Despite the mixed feelings on social media and traditional news, there's little consensus on what should be done about it.

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