- Center for the Digital Future - http://www.digitalcenter.org -

Web Insight: is it OK to criticize the government while online?

What proportion of the American public believes that people should be free to criticize their government on the internet?  Does political orientation affect those views?

A majority of Americans of all political persuasions believe that one should be free to criticize the government online. But support for the notion varies.

Those who are very conservative are most likely to disagree, with a total of 22.6% disagreeing that one should be free to criticize the government on the internet (11.8% disagreeing and 10.8% strongly disagreeing). For those who are somewhat conservative, a total of 11.4% disagree (5.9% disagree and 5.5% strongly disagree).

For those in the middle of the road politically, a total of 15% disagree that people should be free to criticize their government online (8.7% disagree and 6.3% strongly disagree).

On the other hand, of those people who are somewhat liberal, a total of 5.7% disagree that one should be free to criticize the government online (3.9% disagree and 1.8% strongly disagree). For those who are very liberal, the total is 6% (2% disagree and 4% strongly disagree).

Looking at levels of agreement with this question, those in the middle of the road are least likely to strongly agree in the freedom to criticize the government online — 38.8% — with another 29.9% merely agreeing (total agreement of 68.7 percent).

Of those who identify themselves as very conservative, a total of 61.9% agree (19.4% agree and 42.5% strongly agree). For those who are somewhat conservative, a total of 70.7% disagree (26.0% agree and 44.7% strongly disagree).

A sizeable 69.5% of those who identify themselves as very liberal strongly agree with the right to criticize their government online, with another 17.5% merely agreeing (a total of 87% agreement). For those who are somewhat liberal, the total is 85.5% (49.1% strongly agree and 36.4% agree)

On the whole, liberals are more supportive of the freedom to criticize the government online than conservatives.

__________

See all Web Insights [1].

November 21, 2017