A recent survey conducted on the Blind app with data provided to Reclaim The Net provides a glimpse into where tech giants’ employees stand on the huge controversy kicked up by Twitter’s decision to fact-check and label Donald Trump’s tweets.
The president’s response came quickly in the shape of an executive order aimed at stripping these companies of some vital (to their business) legal protections.
So what do those dependent on their industry jobs really think about that?
Responses collected from some 1,500 anonymous respondents on May 28 and 29 show that an overwhelming majority (83%) said “yes” when asked if Twitter should be allowed to fact-check Trump’s posts.
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76% percent of Twitter’s own employees who took part in the survey were in favor of this move, compared to 78% of those working for Facebook; those least likely to approve of it are in Apple’ employ (67%) while the most enthusiastic supporters of fact-checking the president work for PayPal.
When asked whether they agreed with the statement that social networks should not be fact-checking political speech, 68% of those responding said they either disagreed or somewhat disagreed. But this number drops sharply when respondents are asked if free speech is suppressed when social media platforms decide to suspend users or delete posts – 31% said they disagreed – still less than the 22% who agreed.
But a majority (48%) chose the ambiguous “it depends” option as their response.
As for accountability for the spread of misinformation on social networks, tech industry workers seem to overall like to put the onus on the user – 58% of them in this survey, while 34% think it’s the platform’s responsibility, and only 8% blame the government.
Broken down by company that respondents work for, Twitter employees are most likely to say that users are accountable (80%), while those employed by Apple are on the opposite end with 38 percent. 50% of Facebook employees share that opinion.
At the same time, according to this survey’s result, Apple employees top the list (62%) of those who think tech companies they work for should take ownership when it comes to accountability for the spread of misinformation. On the opposite end are Twitter workers – only 20% would co-sign that statement.