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Hate speech, violent threats, conspiracy theories: Is tech doing enough after Capitol attack? Depends on who you ask

  • January 20, 2021

attack on the U.S. Capitol?

Depends on who you ask. 

Nearly two weeks later, the role of Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube in dousing flames on their platforms is still being hotly debated.

More than a third – 37% – of Americans say they approve of how the companies are cracking down on potentially harmful or dangerous content, with 28% saying they have gone too far and 23% saying they haven’t gone far enough, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

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unprecedented power held by a small number of megacompanies, which are largely unaccountable when it comes to how they moderate content on their platforms.

Facebook headquarters on April 14, 2020, in Menlo Park, California.

On the right, these companies are frequently accused of politically motivated bias and censorship. On the left, they’re criticized for doing too little to remove harmful content, particularly content targeting protected groups. 

In the Harris poll, some 32% of those surveyed voiced this opinion: “We are entering a period where Big Tech has too much power to censor voices they do not like.”

Google and Apple to remove Parler from their app stores.

  • 57% of Americans say it was necessary for Amazon to remove merchandise from its store promoting conspiracy theories linked to the Capitol Building riots.
  • 49% of Americans say it was necessary for Shopify to take down President  Donald Trump’s campaign online store.
  • 55% of Americans say it was necessary for Twitter to remove over 70,000 accounts that shared conspiracy theories linked to the Capitol riots.
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