One-Third of Americans Believe Tech Companies Have a Negative Effect on the Country


A Pew Research survey found Americans’ view that technology companies positively impact the country has declined over the past four years.

According to the survey published on July 29, 50 percent of Americans “say technology companies have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country,” down from 71 percent who responded as such in 2015.

On the other end of the scale, the percentage of Americans who believe technology companies have a negative impact on the country has increased from 17 percent in 2015 to 33 percent.

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This negative trend is true for both political parties, although Democrats are 10 percent more likely (54 percent) to say that technology companies have a positive effect on the country.

Additionally, 64 percent of Americans said the national news media has a negative impact on the United States, while only 25 percent said the media has a positive impact.

This pattern seems to follow previous observations by the Pew Research Center on Americans’ views on technology and social media companies.

A study published in 2018 found 55 percent of Americans think tech companies “have too much power and influence,” and 72 percent think it is “likely that social media companies censor political views they find objectional.”

Do you think technology companies have a negative impact on the country?

The power of social media companies was recently brought to national attention when a former Google employee said that the big tech company was planning to “ramp up the censorship” so President Donald Trump wouldn’t be reelected in 2020.

Kevin Cernekee told “Fox & Friends” that Google has “a huge amount of information on every voter in the U.S.” and the company uses the information to create “psychological profiles and figure out how to change your mind.”

These studies line up with a Morning Consult poll that was published after Trump’s social media summit on July 11.

Although 42 percent of registered voters said that the Trump administration should make curbing political bias in social media companies a priority, 43 percent said that the companies should be responsible for creating policies on how political content can be shared.

Trump addressed the alleged social media bias at his summit on the topic.

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“I’m directing my administration to explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free-speech rights of all Americans,” he said.

“We hope to see transparency, more accountability, and more freedom. That’s on both sides.”

He added, “Big tech must not censor the voices of the American people.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith