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Expand chart
Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than half of Republicans believe it is "very likely" that social media platforms intentionally censor political views that they consider “objectionable,” according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

Why it matters: Surveys show that Americans of all stripes don't always trust the information they receive from both mainstream media and Silicon Valley's online platforms. The trend is especially marked among Republicans.

  • 54% of Republican or Republican-leaning adults said it was very likely that social media platforms censor political viewpoints they find objectionable. An additional 32% said it was somewhat likely.
  • 64% of those adults say that major tech companies support liberal views over conservative ones.
  • 20% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning adults said it was very likely that the platforms censor political views, and 42% said it was somewhat likely.

But, but, but: There’s no strong evidence that the people who created and operate the major social media platforms built systemic political bias into them. Some of the highest-profile allegations of bias, about Facebook’s Trending Topics section and Twitter’s Moments feature, have focused on the very small portion of those platforms curated by humans rather than algorithms.

  • The companies are nonetheless aware of the tensions with conservatives: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently met with conservative figures in Washington, D.C. and, in 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a group at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif.

The big picture: While 72% of adults say they can trust major technology companies to do the right thing only some of the time or hardly ever, 74% of people polled also said the impact of major technology companies on them personally was more good than bad.

  • Just over half of adults say that major technology companies should be more regulated than they are right now. Despite concerns over censorship, Republicans, who tend to favor fewer rules for business, are less likely to support more regulation than Democrats.

Go deeper: Axios/SurveyMonkey poll that found almost all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe news outlets report information they know to be false or purposely misleading sometimes or a lot.

Go deeper

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Australian PM pledges $700M for climate change-threatened Great Barrier reef

A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at Lady Elliot island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday a AU$1 billion ($703 million) investment plan for the Great Barrier Reef.

Why it matters: The nine-year plan for projects including water quality improvement, reef conservation and supporting some 64,000 tourism jobs comes months ahead of this year's federal election. It has been criticized by scientists and environmental groups for failing to tackle climate change.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.