A new poll of likely general-election voters shows that nearly one-third of conservatives have left or are considering leaving Facebook because of censorship and bias.
The Media Research Center commissioned the survey conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, which found that 32 percent of self-described conservative Facebook users have left or are considering leaving Facebook due to political censorship.
Two-thirds, or 66 percent, agreed they do not trust Facebook to treat its users equally regardless of their political beliefs.
Another two-thirds of self-described conservatives, 65 percent, believe social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are purposely censoring conservatives and conservative ideas from their platforms.
MRC President Brent Bozell said the numbers “are devastating to any CEO responsible for addressing the concerns of his customer base.”
He noted the survey found that 7 percent of conservatives have already left Facebook and another 25 percent are seriously considering it.
“The question Facebook and other social media companies need to ask themselves is this: Do you want to be seen as an open platform for all political beliefs or would you rather be considered a left-wing public interest group that censors free speech worldwide?” Bozell asked.
The latter will “prove to be unbelievably costly,” he said.
“Censorship on social media is no longer a hypothetical; it’s reality. So too is the evidence that this censorship is pointing to a massive conservative exodus.”
The survey of 1,000 likely general election voters nationwide was conducted online Aug. 22 to 27.
‘War is being declared’
MRC published a report in April showing “how online media companies are suppressing conservative speech.”
“War is being declared on the conservative movement in this space and conservatives are losing — badly,” the executive summary asserts. “If the right is silenced, billions of people will be cut off from conservative ideas and conservative media.
“It’s the new battleground of media bias. But it’s worse. That bias is not a war of ideas. It’s a war against ideas. It’s a clear effort to censor the conservative worldview from the public conversation.”
WND reported Tuesday a study of Google search results of politically charged words found that despite the tech giant’s claim to be free of bias, the searches were 40 percent more likely to produce material that leans either to the “left” or the “far left” rather than the “right.”
Trump: Google ‘rigged’
President Trump elevated the issue Tuesday, accusing Google of altering search results against him and conservative voices and vowing that the issue “will be addressed.”
“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” the president said.
“In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”
Trump added: “Illegal? 96% of … results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
Later Tuesday, Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow was asked by reporters whether or not the White House was considering pursuing some kind of government regulation of Google.
Kudlow replied: “We’ll let you know. We’re taking a look at it. We’ll let you know.”
Google responded Tuesday to Trump’s tweets with a statement insisting there is no “political agenda” or “bias” in its search results.
“When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds,” the company statement said. “Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”