Almost all Americans, or 88 percent, recognize that social media companies have at least some control over the mix of news people see, the Pew Research Center poll found.
And most Americans feel this is a problem. More than six-in-ten of Americans, or 62 percent, say social media companies have too much control over the mix of news that people see on their sites.
The survey highlights rising worries about how social media shape the information people see online, and complaints from some that platforms are biased.
Role of social media in political newsMany people in Asian and African countries are using mobile phones to get their online news and in those regions, social media is even more important as a source of news.
The Pew survey indicated that the trend of people turning to social media for news continues to grow. Some 55 percent of US adults said they get news from social media often or sometimes, up from 47 percent in 2018.
According to Pew, about half of all US adults get news from Facebook, with YouTube the second most popular at 28 percent, followed by Twitter (17 percent), Instagram (14 percent) and smaller numbers from services such as LinkedIn, Reddit and Snapchat.
The poll found more than 80 per cent of respondents believe social media sites treat some news organizations differently than others.
The vast majority of those surveyed said greater exposure was given to news organizations that produce “attention-grabbing articles”, those with a high number of social media followers or those whose coverage that has a certain political stance.
About half of US adults said social media firms often showed inaccurate or one-sided news, while 35 per cent said censorship of the news is a big problem on these sites.