Many Americans are leery and condemn U.S. tech giants amid pressure from lawmakers

The American public may have lost confidence in tech giants and their ability to foster user-friendly experiences on their platforms, new research suggests.

2 min read

The top U.S. technology giants have come under unprecedented scrutiny from high-ranking government officials, an effect that has snowballed since the last election cycle in 2016.

As tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google heal the wounds from an array of backlash for their purported mishandling of user data, another round of reckoning awaits as top executives will testify under oath before the Senate Commerce Committee.

Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg, the top executive at Facebook, was referred for a criminal probe of allegedly misleading members of Congress under oath in an anti-trust hearing.

But even with all the recent controversies surrounding these powerful tech companies, only about 47 percent of Americans are fond of the idea that social media giants should be more regulated by the government, according to a recent survey by a US-based think tank.

According to the Pew Research Center, while not many Americans are keen on increasing government regulation of the major tech companies, there are profound concerns in preventing misuse of their platforms and the spread of misinformation.

In a different Pew Research survey, a team of experts uncovered that as many as 73 percent of Americans do not trust tech companies when it comes to preventing misuse in their platforms, particularly during an election cycle. Even more so, 64 percent of respondents in another recent survey by the think tank found that such misuse might be to blame for the way things are going in the country today.

“The Americans who see a negative effect from social media point to factors including misinformation and the hate and harassment they see on these platforms,” the Pew Research findings state.

“Just one-in-ten adults say social media have a mostly positive effect on the way things are going in the country today. These Americans mention that these sites help people stay informed and aware, and that they allow for communication, connection and community-building.”

Moreover, other recent surveys by the Pew Research Center bears similar results, suggesting that the American public, of both political sides, may have lost confidence in tech giants and their ability to foster user-friendly experiences on their platforms.

Image courtesy of Reuters