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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Most Americans say it's very (37%) or somewhat (36%) likely that social media platforms intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Why it matters: The survey shows that the concept of tech censorship, a political argument for the right, has turned into a mainstream belief.

By the numbers: According to the survey, majorities in both parties believe that censorship is likely occurring, but it's much more common among Republicans.

  • Of the Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP surveyed, 90% say "it’s at least somewhat likely" that social media companies censor political viewpoints. That's up from 85% in 2018.
  • By comparison, only 59% of Democrats think it's at least somewhat likely.

The big picture: Tech companies have wrestled with the best way to moderate misinformation, while avoiding claims of bias or censorship.

  • Republican policymakers, including President Trump, allege that they are biased against conservatives in their attempt to weed out misinformation.
  • According to the study, Americans are divided over whether social media companies should label posts that they find inaccurate or misleading, because most are skeptical that tech companies can accurately make that determination.
  • Liberal Democrats are, to no surprise, most supportive of labeling posts, while Republicans are mostly opposed.

Our thought bubble: So far, the argument that tech companies intentionally silence conservatives through algorithms and policies isn't backed up by any concrete evidence.

  • But the assertion that they do by conservatives in the media and on Capitol Hill have clearly made an impact on everyday Americans, including Democrats.

Go deeper: Conservatives turn antitrust hearing into venting session about bias

Go deeper

Nov 19, 2020 - Technology

Facebook removed 265,000 pieces of content on voter interference

Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Facebook says it removed more than 265,000 pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. for violating its content policies on voter interference leading up to the election.

Why it matters: The company was much more proactive this election cycle than last in taking down and labeling content attempting to disrupt the election.

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.

Congress passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate voted 69-28 to pass legislation Thursday night to fund the government until February 18.

Why it matters: The move staves off a government shutdown but lawmakers still have a busy month ahead: Congress needs to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling in a few weeks and Democrats are trying to pass their behemoth social spending bill.