Survey shows Americans agree on social media regulation, divided over what it means

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Millions of us use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media to stay in touch with friends or for business, but new research shows a majority of us think social media has a negative effect on the American political climate.

This is one of the results of the survey conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida. Among other results, the survey shows that people want to see more regulation on social media.

“In terms of how they regulate particular types of communication and messaging that could lead to violence, that could lead to misinformation and misinformation,” says Joshua Scacco, assistant professor of political communication at USF .

Scacco, who conducted the survey of 1,000 adults nationwide, says the results provide conflicting answers.

On the one hand, 75% said social media companies should do more to monitor accuracy.

But, at the same time, a majority of respondents say they don’t trust social media companies to be fair arbiters.

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“So this is the next step in the analysis, because if they don’t trust the social media companies, would they trust the federal government to do it?” Scacco wondered.

Broadcasters, like FOX 13, are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission regarding what we broadcast, but social media platforms do not use public airwaves, so they are not under the jurisdiction of the FCC.

Another conflict presented in the results; When asked whether social media users should be allowed to make false statements or disseminate false information, 56% said ‘no’.

However, a majority said social media users should be allowed to say things that others might find offensive.

The question is: who decides the difference?

The survey shows a lot of agreement in one area: 78% said that regulations are needed to prevent organized violence.

To learn more about the results of the study, visit https://www.usf.edu/news/2021/survey-results-social-media-moderation-regulation.aspx.

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