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According to a new survey, Americans oppose microtargeting of political ads, which depends on access to user data.

What Americans think companies should do about online political ads

A majority of Americans want internet companies to do more to regulate the flow, transparency and content of political advertising.

A Knight Foundation-Gallup survey released Monday revealed surprisingly broad consensus among Americans that social networks, not politicians, should be held accountable for the dissemination of misinformation in campaign ads.

Americans are especially opposed to the microtargeting of political ads, which means putting a spot before a highly segmented slice of the electorate by harnessing user data collected by tech platforms such as Google or Facebook. That has become one of the most hotly disputed practices in a campaign season where deceptive marketing is seen as one of the biggest challenges to a healthy democracy.

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Voters say they have nothing to fear more than government itself

There's fresh evidence that anxiety about the many ways American democracy is malfunctioning remains very high in the national consciousness.

More than a third of Americans now view the government itself as the top problem in the United States, the Gallup survey out Monday finds. Those results offer all candidates now running for office a clear rationale for elevating plans to "fix the system" closer to the top of their policy agendas.

So far, however, proposals for reforming democracy have received minimal attention in the 2020 campaign — neither in the presidential race that's been underway all year nor in the hundreds of congressional and state legislative contests just starting to gel.

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