Online Censorship Survey: Many Worry About Free Speech Issues

In a recent Google transparency report, the company released information about government agencies attempting to censor search results and even videos and other content. The US was among the governments trying to censor content, and Google complied with some requests and denied others. What do Americans think about the concept of online censorship? And how worried are they about free speech issues?

online censorship

Censorship Issues

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 49% of US respondents were not aware that the US sometimes tries to censor online content and search results. Only 3% support online censorship by government agencies. 29% said they support censorship in some situations, and 17% said they support it in very rare situations. 52% of Americans said they don’t support online censorship at all.


In Google’s transparency report, the company outlined which censorship requests they complied with and which ones they chose to ignore. Only 11% of survey takers said they think companies like Google should have to comply with censorship requests from government agencies. 40% said they think Google should have to comply with these requests in certain situations. Another 40% said they don’t think Google should ever have to comply. And 9% had no opinion.

Free Speech

47% of Americans said they do worry about online censorship hindering free speech. 32% said they are somewhat worried about free speech issues and online censorship. And 21% said they are not worried at all.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: youtube blocking videos from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on June 25 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.