Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

SCOTUS ruling on government communication with social media companies

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In todays email:

  • Featured story: SCOTUS rules that Biden administration did not unlawfully coerce social media companies into removing content
  • In other news: AP launches nonprofit to support local news
  • Looking ahead: The New York Times plans to move podcasts behind paywall
  • Chart of the week: Americans’ fatigue over election coverage

🔥 Featured story

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected a lawsuit alleging the Biden administration unlawfully coerced social media companies into removing content. Writing for the majority, Justice Amy Coney Barrett concluded that past restrictions on content could not be directly tied to the White House’s communications with the social media platforms, and that the platforms were already moderating content themselves. The ruling means there will not be new limits on how the government can communicate with tech companies.

According to a 2023 Pew Research Center analysis, support for both technology companies and the U.S. government taking steps to restrict false information online has grown in recent years. For example, the share of U.S. adults who say the federal government should do this has risen from 39% in 2018 to 55% in 2023. Most Americans are also supportive of tech companies and the government taking steps to restrict extremely violent content online.

📌 In other news

📅 Looking ahead

The New York Times plans to move its top podcasts behind a paywall, according to people familiar with the matter. This first push would include all but the three latest episodes of The Daily and all new episodes of its Serial show. The Times is expected to eventually adopt a subscription service for most or all of its podcasts.

In a 2022 Center survey about podcasts, just 13% of all podcast listeners (i.e., those who reported listening to a podcast in the past 12 months) said that they have paid for a subscription to a podcast.

Another Center survey conducted in 2023 found that three-in-ten U.S. adults say they at least sometimes get news from podcasts.

📊 Chart of the week

As President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump prepare to debate tonight, our chart of the week comes from our recent analysis of Americans’ attention to election news.

Although many Americans are following news about the 2024 presidential candidates, they are also experiencing fatigue over election coverage. About six-in-ten U.S. adults (62%) already say they are worn out by so much coverage of the campaign and candidates, according to an April survey. Another 35% say they like seeing a lot of this coverage. People who follow election news very closely are far less likely to say they are worn out.

👋 That’s all for this week. 

The Briefing is compiled by Pew Research Center staff, including Naomi Forman-Katz, Jacob Liedke, Sarah Naseer, Christopher St. Aubin, Luxuan Wang and Emily Tomasik. It is edited by Katerina Eva Matsa, Michael Lipka and Mark Jurkowitz, and copy edited by Rebecca Leppert.

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