Americans, especially Republicans, say social media companies too powerful

82 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats hold this view

While most Republicans and Democrats believe social media companies wield too much power, Republicans are more likely to hold this view, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

A whopping 82 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think social media companies have too much power and influence in politics, compared with 63 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, the survey said.

Twenty-eight percent of Democrats say these companies have about the right amount of power and influence in politics, compared to 13 percent of Republicans, Pew added.

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This dichotomy is not new, as this type of partisan split has been seen in past surveys.

“Republicans were more likely than Democrats to believe social media sites censor political viewpoints and that tech companies generally support liberal views over conservative ones,” according to a 2018 survey from Pew.

Justin Danhof, General Counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, points to Prager University, a nonprofit run by radio talk show host Dennis Prager, which sued Google-owned YouTube, claiming the media company illegally censors conservative content.

“When social media overlords such as Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, and Mark Zuckerberg decide what the truth is, and in so doing regularly label conservative opinion as untruth, it's not surprising that more than 80 percent of conservatives believe they wield too much power,” Danhof told Fox News.

On one point, Republicans and Democrats tend to agree.

Similar percentages of Republicans (48 percent) and Democrats (46 percent) agree the government should regulate big technology companies more, Pew found.

But this is changing at the fringes.

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“The share of conservative Republicans who believe these companies should face more government regulation has increased from 42 [percent] to 53 [percent]," Pew noted. "At the same time, the share of liberal Democrats who support more regulation of big technology firms has fallen from 65 [percent] to 52 [percent].”

This survey comes as the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are slated to appear together and testify before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee as part of its ongoing antitrust inquiry.

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