Less Than Half of Americans Trust Tech Companies to Prevent Election Interference

September 6, 2018, 12:59 PM UTC

Facebook and Twitter are struggling to convince Americans of their ability to stop foreign interference.

Less than 24 hours after executives from the two tech giants appeared on Capitol Hill to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Axios, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, published a new survey on American attitudes toward such companies.

According to their findings, only four in 10 Americans trust tech companies to prevent the misuse of their sites by foreign entities in the 2018 midterm elections. That number represents a significant drop in trust since a similar survey was conducted in February, during which time trust was at 48%.

While the lack of confidence in the likes of Facebook and Twitter exists on both sides of the aisle, Democrats, rather than Republicans, have seen the largest drop in trust. From a peak at 54% in February, trust among Democrats dropped to 42%. Republican trust is lower overall, but saw less of a drop, from 46% to 40%.

Meanwhile, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who is also a director at SurveyMonkey, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sought to assure lawmakers and the public this week that both companies are actively and aggressively working to prevent any future interference.

“We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act. That’s on us,” Sandberg said in Wednesday’s hearing. “This interference was completely unacceptable. It violated the values of our company and of the country we love.”

Both executives pledged to continue to actively detect and combat fake accounts and foreign interference.

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