February 18, 2021

A new Gallup poll released Thursday found that Americans’ views of large technology companies have become significantly more negative over the past year and a half, and the public’s calls for increased government regulation of these businesses has risen from 48% to 57%.

The companies were defined as “technology companies, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.” Forty-five percent of U.S. adults have a very or somewhat negative view of them, according to the poll conducted between Jan. 21 and Feb. 2 — in the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

As a result of the riot and violence that spilled from the insurrection, Facebook indefinitely banned former President Donald Trump from its platforms. A day later, Twitter permanently suspended his account.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter announced Jan. 8 in a statement. “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action.”

Parler, a social media network popular among conservatives, was also removed from Google, Amazon and Apple.

The new Gallup poll also revealed that Republicans and, to a lesser degree, independents have much bleaker views of Big Tech now than they did in August 2019. Republicans’ 37% negative rating in 2019 has grown to 65% and independents’ negative rating has risen from 33% to 44%.

“Views of Big Tech have grown more negative as the industry has drawn the ire of Republicans who view it as anti-conservative,” read the poll’s bottom line, in part. “Although Democrats view large technology companies positively on balance, they join Republicans in supporting increased government regulation of them as concerns have arisen about their size and power.”

You can read the full report here.

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Amaris Castillo is a writing/research assistant for the NPR Public Editor and a contributor to Poynter.org. She’s also the creator of Bodega Stories and a…
Amaris Castillo

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