Being trustworthy isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when asked to describe Facebook, and that has been proven by a recent poll saying that more than three-quarters of conservative Americans think that the social media giant, along with other Big Tech companies, is not at all trustworthy.
The recent poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associate revealed that 76.7% of conservative America does not trust Facebook to be unbiased and to treat everyone equal. The survey asked respondents several questions to understand their perception and their opinions towards Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google, Youtube, and Twitter.
And the results for the overall trustworthiness perception of Facebook isn’t far from the results from conservative respondents. Of all the respondents, around 63.4 percent of them said that Facebook could not be trusted to treat all its users equally.
The study came out following Facebook’s announcement that the San Francisco-based company is launching a strengthened campaign to ban “misinformation” in its social media network and other subsidiary products like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Election propaganda and census misinformation is expected, and the social media platform is one of the most potent space for its proliferation. That is why, in an announcement on June 30th, Facebook says that it is updating its civil rights audit to include the protection of the 2020 Census and Elections “against intimidation.”
The announcement said that Facebook, through its renewed and strengthened commitment on the fight against misinformation, political bias, and discrimination, is updating their policies and strengthening their enforcement against harmful and intimidating contents.
Early this year, Facebook launched a crackdown against white supremacists in its platform. But the civil rights audit revealed that such a move is not enough to safeguard the elections and protect its integrity from misinformation. As part of their update, they will now include contents that have white supremacist themes even if the terms “white nationalism” and “white separatism” aren’t explicitly used.
Furthermore, they are also moving towards ways to make sure that the platform will not be used to organize “events that intimidate or harass people based on their race, religion, or other parts of their identity.”
The data revealed by the poll are quite understandable as the progressive stance of Facebook could be viewed as a form of bias by the conservatives, especially that they have launched campaigns against racial discrimination and white supremacy.
The results, which also revealed that conservatives also don’t trust Google, came following a crucial “bias” issue that the tech giant is facing. 62.9 percent of conservative respondents saying they do not believe the company treats users equally, while nearly half of the respondents polled in general — 47.9 percent — agreed that Google is untrustworthy.
This came a few weeks after the search engine superpower got embroiled with a controversy relating to some of their office’s stand on Trump and their supposed plan to influence the results of the 2020 elections.
The issue sprouted from a series of “leaks” made by independent investigative journalist organization, Project Veritas, alleging some of Google’s officials have a bias against Trump because they are the only one who can prevent Trump’s reelection.
The leaks in the form of videos, which were since removed from the platform by Youtube, show a senior employee at the company appearing to admit that the company plans to interfere in the next presidential election to stop Donald Trump.
Jen Gennai, who preaches that the company, Google, should not be broken up because they still need to stop the reelection of the President and only they can prevent “next Trump situation.”
In the same video, Gennai also appears to declare that Trump’s victory in the 2016 elections “screwed us (Google).”
“We all got screwed over in 2016; again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over, so we’re rapidly like, happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again,” she added.
“We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”