Statements
2021

New Poll Shows Parents Distrust Big Tech, Strongly Support Expanding Online Protections For Kids

For Immediate Release
July 27, 2021
Contact: press@accountabletech.org

 

74% Say Facebook cares more about corporate profits than children’s safety; majority say social media as dangerous for kids as e-cigarettes

Tuesday, Accountable Tech released a new national poll of 1,000 parents of school-aged children – conducted by GQR Research – measuring their sentiments about the behavior of major tech platforms and key issues facing kids and teens online.

With growing bipartisan momentum to address Big Tech’s harms to children, the poll offers unique insights into parents’ widespread distrust of the platforms and overwhelming support for a range of new protections to rein in their exploitative practices.

“As a new mother myself, I can tell you first-hand that partisan politics falls by the wayside when it comes to keeping your child safe from potential threats,” said Nicole Gill, Executive Director of Accountable Tech. “And that’s exactly what this poll shows – that Big Tech’s constant prioritization of profits at the expense of people’s well-being is an urgent concern for parents across the political spectrum, and bold reforms earn near-universal backing.”

Below is a sampling of highlights from the new poll:

  • Three-in-four parents (74%) believe Facebook cares more about corporate profits than their children’s safety, with half of all respondents saying they feel this way strongly. A slightly smaller, but still significant majority (63%) said the same about YouTube.

  • A majority of parents  (52%) say “social media is just as dangerous for my child’s well-being as products like Juul e-cigarettes.”

  • 90% of parents say Facebook should publicize the research they’ve done on social media’s harmful effects on children’s mental health.

  • More than 8-in-10 parents support a host of different measures to expand protections for children and teens on tech platforms, including:

    • Prohibiting companies from collecting personal data from teens without their consent

    • Requiring autoplay and algorithmic recommendation tools to be turned off by default

    • Limiting push alerts and badges designed to increase kids’ and teens’ engagement

  • 93% of parents want the federal government to pass new legislation updating children’s privacy protections online.

  • 81% of parents say Big Tech companies like Facebook and Google need to do more to protect children, compared to just 19% who say they’ve done enough.

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