A new Pew Research Center poll finds a majority of Americans believe social media companies likely censor political views on their platforms.
According to the report, 72% of the public says active censorship is either somewhat likely or very likely, while only 26% believed political censorship was unlikely.
The poll also found that a large portion of Republicans believe “technology companies are politically biased and/or engaged in suppression of political speech.”
“Fully 85% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think it likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints, with 54% saying this is very likely,” the report said. “And a majority of Republicans (64%) think major technology companies as a whole support the views of liberals over conservatives.”
Respondents similarly said they felt the major technology companies leaned left politically.
“When asked about the political views that major technology companies support, fewer than half of Americans (43%) say these companies support the views of liberals and conservatives equally,” the report said. “Instead, a slight majority feels these companies support the views of one side of the partisan spectrum over the other.”
Roughly 43% of Americans said the tech giants “support the views of liberals over conservatives,” while only 11% said conservatives received more favor.
Around 53% of Democrats, however, said major tech companies support both viewpoints equally, with only 16% saying conservative views were more respected.
Most respondents also said that major tech companies have been more positive on their lives then negative.
“Roughly three-quarters of Americans (74%) think the impact of major technology companies on their own lives has been more good than bad, while 24% say the opposite,” the report added.
The survey, which has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points, questioned 4,594 U.S. adults between May 29 and June 11.
The poll comes as major tech companies attempt to fight back claims that their services show favoritism to liberals.
Despite their defense, numerous stories have shed light on what many company employees say is a clear bias.
In 2016, Gizmodo reported that Facebook workers said organically trending conservative news stories were regularly suppressed on the website.
“This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users,” the story said.
Facebook sent a team of executives earlier this month to meet with Republican lawmakers to discuss the site’s treatment of conservative users.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) confronted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the company’s stance during testimony in Washington D.C. in April.
“There are a great many Americans who I think are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship,” Cruz said.