The Media Research Center (MRC) released a new poll Wednesday conducted by McLaughlin & Associates gauging self-described conservatives’ attitudes toward Facebook and other social media companies.
According to the poll, one-third (32%) of self-described conservative Facebook users have left or are considering leaving Facebook due to political censorship. Two-thirds (66%) of conservatives agreed they do not trust Facebook to treat its users equally regardless of their political beliefs. Another two-thirds (65%) of self-described conservatives believe social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are purposely censoring conservatives and conservative ideas from their platforms.
MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement concerning this new poll in the wake of controversies surrounding social media companies:
“These numbers are devastating to any CEO responsible for addressing the concerns of his customer base. According to this survey, 7% of conservatives have already left Facebook and another 25% are seriously considering it. That's nearly one-third (32%) of conservatives on Facebook -- potentially tens of millions of consumers. To make matters worse, two-thirds of conservative Facebook users trust Facebook less than they did a year ago. These trends should set off alarm bells at Facebook headquarters. They are bleeding a major customer base.
“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? The latter will prove to be unbelievably costly. 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.“
Highlights from the research:
(Asked of self-described conservatives)
1. Do you believe social media companies (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) are purposely censoring conservatives and conservative ideas from their sites?
- Yes (64.6%)
- No (10.8%)
- Not sure (24.6%)
2. Do you TRUST Facebook to treat all of its users equally, regardless of their political beliefs?
- Yes (17.1%)
- No (66.1%)
- Not sure (16.8%)
3. Is your TRUST in Facebook greater than, less than, or the same as it was one year ago?
- Greater than it was a year ago (6.8%)
- Less than it was a year ago (66.9%)
- The same as it was a year ago (26.2%)
4. Which of the following BEST describes your position regarding Facebook?
- I stopped using Facebook because of their censorship of conservatives (6.7%)
- I am considering leaving Facebook because of their censorship of conservatives (22.2%)
- I either stopped using Facebook or am considering leaving the platform for another reason (13.0%)
- I am currently a Facebook user, and I am NOT considering leaving the platform (47.7%)
- I have never used Facebook (10.5%)
This survey of 1,000 likely general election voters nationwide was conducted on Aug. 22nd to 27th, 2018. All interviews were conducted online; survey invitations were distributed randomly within predetermined geographic units. These units were structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in a nationwide general election.
This poll of 1,000 likely general election voters has an accuracy of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval. The accuracy of the responses from the 351 self-described conservatives is +/- 5.2% at a 95% confidence interval.
MRCTV is division of the Media Research Center