Overwhelming majority say social media companies have too much influence: poll

An overwhelming majority of voters say that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have too much influence over how people consume their news, according to a nationwide survey released on Friday.

The Hill-HarrisX poll showed 70 percent of voters believe social media giants have too much influence over the mix of news that people see on in their feeds. Another 22 percent thought these companies had “just the right amount of influence.” 

Just 8 percent said social media companies have too little influence on news consumption.

Though voters largely agreed across party lines, Republican respondents were slightly more skeptical about the role of social media sites in shaping the news people see.

Seventy-five percent of GOP voters said these companies hold too much power, compared to 67 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents who said the same. 

Social media behemoths like Facebook have faced intense scrutiny from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

In October, Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Conspiracy theories run rampant online amid Floyd protests | First lawsuit filed against Trump social media order | Snapchat to no longer promote Trump's account Dozens of ex-Facebook employees criticize Zuckerberg over stance on Trump posts First lawsuit filed against Trump's social media order MORE testified in a congressional hearing, where he faced a deluge of questions over the company’s track record on everything from hate speech to privacy and misinformation.

During the hearing, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez endorses Engel primary challenger Forget politics — America needs a realistic debate about our energy future Ocasio-Cortez to Washington Redskins on 'Blackout Tuesday' post: 'Change your name' MORE (D-N.Y.) grilled Zuckerberg about the platform’s new political ad policy allowing politicians to run ads even if they include false information.

In a series of hypotheticals, Ocasio-Cortez asked Zuckerberg whether she could run ads with false information concerning her proposed Green New Deal. The CEO responded that it depends on the context in which the ads shows up.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIt's time to shut down industrial animal farming The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen Biden wins DC primary MORE (D-Mass.) has also challenged Facebook’s new ad policy by running an ad falsely claiming that Zuckerberg endorsed President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE for reelection. The top 2020 presidential contender has also called for the break-up of big tech companies like Facebook.

Conservatives, meanwhile, have long accused social media giants of political bias.

Earlier this year, Trump reportedly accused Facebook, Google and Twitter of “terrible bias” and suppressing his supporters at a Social Media Summit at the White House. All three companies have repeatedly denied these accusations.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conduced among 1,000 registered voters from Dec. 8-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn