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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.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 mins ago - World

Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration surprised the world last night by coming out in favor of waiving patents for coronavirus vaccines — but Europe is divided on the issue.

What they're saying: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said Brussels would be willing to discuss it; French President Emmanuel Macron said he backed the U.S. position, but a German government spokesman said the proposal would cause "severe complications" for vaccine production.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

  1. Health: CDC expects new COVID surge starting this month — Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low
  2. Politics: Federal judge overturns CDC's eviction moratorium — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants — U.S. will support waiving vaccine patents — Education secretary: All schools expected to be fully in-person this fall
  4. Economy: U.S. may have added more than 2 million jobs in April — A surge in youth unemployment.
  5. World: True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds — Countries testing J&J vaccine doses after contamination at Baltimore plant — Germany opposes Biden's support for waiving vaccine patents
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.