Poll: Women more likely to say social media has negative effect on society

Women are more likely to say that social media has a negative effect on society, according a new Hill-HarrisX survey released Wednesday.

The national survey found that 62 percent of female respondents said that interactions on social networks have a negative impact, compared to 58 percent of male respondents.

Overall, 60 percent of those polled believe that social media has a negative impact, while 25 percent said it has more of a positive impact. Fifteen percent said social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have no impact at all.

The survey comes amid reports that online hate speech and harassment are on the rise.

One in 3 Americans reported facing some form of online harassment, according to an Anti-Defamation League survey released earlier this year. A disproportionate number of the respondents were women, with gender-based harassment affecting 24 percent of women as opposed to 15 percent of men.

A 2017 report from Pew Research Center found similar results – women were nearly twice as likely as to say that they had been targeted because of their gender.

Increasingly tech giants have been facing pressure in regard to how they treat content on their platforms. 

YouTube said over the summer that it was updating its hate speech and harassment policies following public outcry over the harassment of Vox journalist Carlos Maza on its platform. The company is now facing a lawsuit from a group of LGBTQ video creators who are accusing the video-sharing platform of discriminating against their content.

Meanwhile Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergZuckerberg, Chan-funded scientists pen 'letter of concern' over Trump, misinformation Zuckerberg says Facebook to review policies over use of force, voter suppression amid criticism Twitter removes Trump campaign tribute to George Floyd claiming copyright complaint MORE returned to Capitol Hill this week to testify on his company’s plans to create a new cryptocurrency, but lawmakers used the opportunity to grill him on a number of controversies involving Facebook, including how the company handles misinformation.

Rep. Bill PoseyWilliam (Bill) Joseph PoseyHouse Republican introduces bill to hold up members' pay if they vote by proxy Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Fed chief issues stark warning to Congress on deficits MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday pressed Zuckerberg over the platform's efforts to reduce the spread of anti-vaccine content.

The Facebook CEO said that while the company wants to stop the spread of misinformation, it also cares about freedom of speech.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted among 1,001 registered voters between Oct. 21 and Oct. 22. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn