- Google Sheets/Business Insider
People in the UK are fans of government internet regulation, according to a new survey, which places it second only to China in enthusiasm for state oversight of the web.
The survey, carried out for the BBC World Service, found that 53% of the 1,001 Brits polled said the internet should be regulated.
Along with China, it was one of only two nations surveyed where a majority of respondents believe that government control over the internet is a good thing.
Pollsters GlobeScan asked citizens of 17 countries their opinion on internet regulation, taking in responses from a total of 16,542 people.
They were asked to respond to the statement “The internet should never be regulated by any level of government anywhere.”
The graph above shows the numbers of people who “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree” with that statement, and therefore believe some level of regulation is right.
- GlobeScan/BBC World Service
China famously has extremely restrictive internet policies. Social networks like Facebook and a slew of news organisations including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Reuters are banned entirely.
The United Kingdom has few internet restrictions, which are mainly related to pornography, piracy, extremism, and other illegal content. ISPs automatically apply content filters to anybody who doesn’t opt out.
Western nations – like Canada and Germany – broadly had similar, albeit more libertarian, opinions on internet regulation.
Two exceptions were France and the US, which were both significantly more sceptical of internet regulation.
Countries like Brazil, Greece, Kenya, and Turkey – where political instability and allegations of government corruption are more common – were extremely opposed to state oversight of the web.
The poll also asked users about whether they trust what they see online, with 79% saying they were worried about the proliferation of fake news.