Almost 9 in 10 Americans say "social media companies have at least some control over the mix of news people see,” according to a Pew Research survey released Wednesday, while 82 percent believe social media sites provide preferential treatment to some news organizations over others.
Overall, 62 percent of the more than 5,100 U.S. adults that Pew surveyed in July say social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter have too much control over the mix of news people see, while 55 percent say "the role social media companies play in delivering the news results in a worse mix of news." Just 15 percent feel that control results in a better mix of news, while 28 percent said it has no impact.
The results trend along party lines, the study finds, with Republicans inclined to be more negative than those identifying as Democrats when it comes to their views on social media control over news content.
Pew finds that 75 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents polled said social media companies have too much control over the mix of news people see. The number drops to 53 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners who feel the same way.
Two-thirds of Republican respondents say social media’s control over the news results in a worse mix for consumers, while just under half of Democrats, 49 percent, agree.
In terms of what is seen as the biggest problem with news on social media sites, 53 percent named "one-sided news," while 51 percent named "inaccurate news."
Just over a third of U.S adults, 35 percent, say "censorship of the news" and "uncivil discussions on social media" are big issues, while 27 percent believe harassment of journalists is a problem.
The margin of error for the poll is 1.7 percentage points, according to Pew.