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60% of West States’ residents believe IT giants manipulate info: poll

The majority of residents in such Western states as Germany, Italy, France, the US and the United Kingdom believe that Google and Facebook exploit algorithms allowing them to manipulate information in favor of a particular political point of view, a poll conducted by the IFOP pollster exclusively for Sputnik, showed on April 19.

"The majority of Germans (68 percent), Italians (60 percent), US nationals (60 percent), French (57 percent), and UK nationals (54 percent) believe that Google and Facebook manipulate information in favor of this or that political point of view," the statement, summarizing the poll results, read.

In all the countries, where the poll was held, university graduates shared the idea about the information manipulation by Google and Facebook more often than the individuals having a lower level of education.

In particular, in France, 71 percent of university graduates said they believed there were manipulations by IT companies, compared to 44 percent of those who had not obtained a university diploma, and 56 percent of respondents with a bachelor’s degree.

In Germany, the information manipulation idea was shared by 76 percent of university graduates, 66 of those who only have secondary education, and 57 percent of people with elementary education.

The poll also showed that young people shared the idea about Google and Facebook manipulating information more often than people aged 35 or over.

For example, in France, 62 percent of respondents under 35 believed that tech giants were involved in manipulations, in comparison to 55 percent of those older than 35.

Notably, among the French youth aged between 18 and 24, a total of 67 percent shared the idea about the information manipulation.

In the United States, 71 percent of those under 35 approved of the idea of information manipulation by Google and Facebook, while only 55 percent of the older generations supported it.

On the contrary, in Italy, 62 percent of people older than 35 years old believed the technological companies exploited information, in comparison to 53 percent of younger people sharing this opinion.

The situation is similar in the United Kingdom, where the idea of manipulation is shared by 56 percent of those over 25, in comparison to 43 percent of people aged between 18 and 24 years.

The survey was conducted among 5,029 respondents aged above 18, with the margin of error being no more than 3.1 percent.

Sputnik launched the Sputnik.Polls project in January 2015 to conduct polls in Western Europe and the United States in cooperation with the leading research companies Populus, IFOP and Forsa. The project involves regular surveys on high-profile social and political issues.

Sputnik / PNA