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Campaigns Expert: “American People Overwhelmingly Want Government to Regulate Big Tech”


Jun 07, 2022

Report prepared by political scientist Professor Brian F. Schaffner, Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies at Tufts University

Link to the polling memo here

WASHINGTON, DC Today, The Tech Oversight Project released a polling memo from Tufts University professor Brian F. Schaffner that analyzes how the public views Big Tech, attitudes toward regulation, and support for the American and Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act. Recently, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has committed to bring antitrust legislation to the floor that would rein in Big Tech and their abusive practices. View the full memo here

“The data couldn’t be any clearer. The American people are demanding more government action to rein in and regulate Big Tech and their predatory practices that hurt small businesses and families,” said Sacha Haworth, Executive Director of the Tech Oversight Project. “Right now, lawmakers have a golden opportunity to deliver a popular and bipartisan win for the people they serve. We cannot let this moment slip away. Now is the time to bring both the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act to the floor for a vote.”

Key Findings: 

  • Americans have increasingly negative attitudes towards technology companies and these negative views are shared by Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike.
  • Two-thirds of Americans say that they trust big technology just a little or not at all to do what is best for their users. Distrust has increased significantly even just over the past few years.
  • Across many polls, a broad majority of Americans say that Big Tech has too much power and influence over society. Americans also say that Big Tech has too much influence over government and policy making.
  • High-quality nonpartisan polling organizations Gallup and the Pew Research Center both find that a majority of Americans think that technology companies should be regulated more than they are now. This sentiment is shared by Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
  • A majority of Americans support holding big tech account-able for stifling competition.
  • There is broad bipartisan support for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICO). Even after hearing arguments for and against the legislation, 58% of national likely voters support the bill while just 26% are opposed. Support outpaces opposition for each partisan grouping. Significant majorities also support the legislation in a variety of statewide polls.
  • The Open App Markets Act (OAMA) is also broadly popular, with supporters outnumbering opponents by about four-to-one in various state polls.
  • Across a variety of different state polls, a large bipartisan majority of likely voters indicate that they want their senators and representatives to vote for AICO and the OAMA and say that they will be more likely to support legislators who vote for those bills.

Biography

Brian Schaffner is the Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies at Tufts University. Before coming to Tufts, he was a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. His research focuses on public opinion, campaigns and elections, political parties, and legislative politics. He is co-author of the books Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail and Understanding Political Science Research Methods: The Challenge of Inference; co-editor of the book Winning with Words: The Origins & Impact of Political Framing; and author of Politics, Parties and Elections in America. His research has appeared in more than 30 journal articles and has received over $2 million in external funding.

It's #HotAntitrustSummer. Call your Senator and urge them to support S.2992 and the Open App Markets Act. Click here for more.
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