Nearly three-fourths of all Idahoans want social media companies to restrict “fake news” on the internet, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.
And two-thirds want a law that would restrict ads on social media by foreign countries aimed at influencing American public opinion, finds IPW pollster Dan Jones & Associates.
The recent poll is interesting in another area: Republicans and conservatives are more likely to accept “fake news” and foreign country ad buys than are Democrats and political independents.
Perhaps that is, in part, because America’s right wing is often accused of buying into “fake news” put out by conservative media.
In any case, here are some of the numbers Jones found:
- 72 percent of Idahoans “strongly” or “somewhat” support social media firms attempting to restrict “fake news” on their sites.
- 23 percent oppose such efforts.
- While 6 percent don’t know.
Those 18-29 years old, who may be on social media a lot, are less supportive of attempts to control it: They support restricting “fake news,” 64-32 percent.
- Those 60-69 years old, who won’t be on social media as much, are for restricting “fake news,” 74-20 percent.
- Republicans support restricting “fake news,” 70-24 percent.
- But Democrats support such restrictions, 82-16 percent.
Those who told Jones they are “very conservative” in their political philosophy are more skeptical of restricting “fake news,” 59-36 percent.
- “Moderates,” want “fake news” restricted, 81-15 percent.
- While those who said they are “very liberal,” want such restrictions, 79-18 percent.
It has been generally proven that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election here through social media – which by and large did not try to restrict such activity.
- 64 percent of Idahoans want social media firms to somehow control ad buys by foreign countries when those ads are attempting to form American public opinion.
- 30 percent are against such restrictions.
- While 8 percent don’t know.
Again, younger Idahoans are more skeptical of such actions: Those 18-29 support such restrictions, 56-39 percent; while those 60-69 support them, 67-31 percent.
Republicans support trying to keep foreign countries out of public opinion ads, 62-32 percent.
While Democrats want such controls, 71-25 percent.
Jones polled 619 adults from Nov. 8-15. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.94 percent.