Pew Survey Suggests Social Media Is Indeed Shifting Users’ Political Views

October 19th, 2020 5:24 PM

Social media can often appear to be an echo chamber, especially to those closely following election events. But a recent survey suggests that Big Tech is shifting users’ political views. 

A study from the Pew Research Center published on October 15 found that 23 percent of adult social media users in the United States changed a political view they hold because of something they saw on social media in the past year.

According to the study, 21 percent of respondents who were Republican or lean Republican, and 25 percent of Democrats and those who lean Democratic said that they “changed their views about a political or social issue because of something they saw on social media in the past year.” A total of 10,211 adults were surveyed. 

Pew found that a higher percentage of people this year reported that they changed their views because of social media than in 2018, when the same study was performed. In 2018, 19 percent of Democrats and nine percent of Republicans answered affirmatively, or 15 percent of participants overall.

Participants described several topics they had changed their minds on in the past year due to social media, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality and the need for police reform, and even President Donald Trump, among others. 

“I used to support BLM, but now I see them as violent domestic terrorists not interested in addressing the real problems within the Black community. BLM is about a communist revolution not about helping the Black community… ,” said one fifty-year-old man.

“I have become more aware of systematic racism and the reasons for protests and riots,” said one thirty-seven-year-old woman, who claimed to have changed her mind due to social media. 

“I read information about trans and LGBTQ persons, and scholars in particular, and it changed my view on this population and on the social issues they experience,” said a forty-nine-year-old man.

Unfortunately, the study does not discuss how or why participants changed their views on different topics, only that they did. This lack of clarity is frightening given the climate of online censorship of conservatives. Just last week, Facebook and Twitter both censored an article from the New York Post, an action which appeared to aid the Democratic Party and former Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Even outspoken liberal Google critic Dr. Robert Epstein warned that Big Tech could change the course of the election.  Epstein recently stated that Google may be “shifting power” to flip the Senate. Epstein has also warned that Big Tech is capable of targeting individuals:

“Google and Facebook have millions of pieces of information about every American voter, and they will be targeting their manipulations at the individual level for every single voter in every swing state. No one in the world except Google and Facebook can do that.” 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.