By Neetu Chandak
Nearly two-thirds of self-described conservatives believe social media companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are censoring conservative voices, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The Media Research Center (MRC), a non-profit media watchdog, released a poll that was conducted between Aug. 22 and Aug. 27 through online interviews by McLaughlin & Associates, according to a press release.
Questions gauged conservatives’ attitudes surrounding social media. Along with increased cynicism toward social media censoring political views, 66.1 percent of conservatives did not trust Facebook for treating all users equally when it came to political beliefs. Nearly 67 percent of conservatives also had less trust in Facebook than they did one year ago.
Nearly 48 percent of conservatives are still Facebook users and do not have plans of leaving the platform. About 7 percent of conservative users, however, left the platform altogether and 22.2 percent were seriously considering leaving the social media site.
“These trends should set off alarm bells at Facebook headquarters,” MRC President Brent Bozell said in a statement. “They are bleeding a major customer base.”
The survey comes after complaints of social media sites shadow-banning, censoring and deleting videos that violate “hate speech” policies.
PragerU, a non-profit educational service led by conservative pundit Dennis Prager, said some of its videos were shadow-banned and none of its followers could see the account’s posts. One of the videos taken down was “Make Men Masculine Again,” a video by YouTube personality Allie Stuckey, who made the argument against feminizing men, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Aug. 17.
Facebook apologized for mistakenly removing the videos in a tweet Aug. 18.
“The question Facebook and other social media companies need to ask themselves is this: Do you want to be seen as an open platform for all political beliefs or would you rather be considered a left-wing public interest group that censors free speech worldwide?” Bozell said in the statement.
The survey randomly recruited 1,000 likely general election voters. Survey respondents included 351 conservatives, 387 moderates and 262 liberals and were asked 43 questions.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a 95-percent confidence interval. The survey from the 351 conservatives had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points with a 95-percent confidence level.
TheDCNF reached out to McLaughlin & Associates for comment, but did not receive an immediate response in time for publication.
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