Technology

Gen Z voters support measures to rein in tech giants: poll

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The majority of Generation Z voters said they support measures to rein in the power of tech giants, according to a new poll from the progressive firm Data for Progress. 

The poll found a majority of both Democratic and Republican voters between 18 and 25 supported efforts to regulate the market power of tech giants. The results were released by the Tech Oversight Project, a group advocating for antitrust reform. 

For example, the survey found 61 percent of Gen Z voters said they support the American Innovation and Choice Online Act after being given a brief description of the bill, according to a copy of the survey results shared with The Hill. 

The proposal, which advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support, would limit tech giants from favoring their own products and services. Axios reported last week that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) intends to put the bill up for a vote by early summer.

The survey found the most support for the measure among Democratic Gen Z voters, with 65 percent saying they support the bill. But 63 percent of independent voters and 54 percent of Republicans in that age group said the same. 

The Open App Markets Act, which would put in place further regulations on companies behind dominant app stores, had similar support among Gen Z voters, based on the survey. That proposal also advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support earlier this year. 

The poll found that 60 percent of Democrats, 57 percent of independents and 55 percent of Republicans said they support the proposal. 

Across the board, young voters said they support government officials taking action to protect small businesses and ensure competitive markets by fairly wide margins. Seventy-eight percent of Gen Z voters said they support those efforts, based on the poll. 

And 76 percent of young voters said they support government officials taking action to fine or jail CEOs of companies that break the law, with a fairly even 76 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Republicans offering support. 

In addition to building momentum in Congress to reform antitrust laws to tackle the market power of tech giants, there’s a growing push to hold tech platforms accountable for risks to children and teens online. 

The majority of surveyed Gen Z voters, who largely grew up in age of the internet and social media, also said they support efforts for government officials to strengthen protections for children and teens online. 

The poll found 76 percent of those voters, including 77 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 73 percent of Republicans, said they support such efforts to strengthen kids’ safety online. 

The Tech Oversight Project, the group that released the results, is a collection of critics of Big Tech companies that launched in January with a focus on pushing through antitrust reform. The group is primarily being funded by the Omidyar Network, the philanthropic network of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and the Economic Security Project, led by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. 

The poll was conducted between May 10 and 18 and surveyed 1,031 likely voters ages 18 to 25 using web panel respondents. The margin of error is 3 percentage points. 

Tags American Innovation and Choice Online Act antitrust Data for Progress gen z Generation Z Open App Markets Act

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