- Facebook has had a year full of controversies over misinformation and the way it provides access to user data.
- A new study from Pew taken shortly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal found that 26% of Americans had deleted the Facebook app from their phone in the last year.
In May and June, the Pew Research Center surveyed over 4,500 American adults, and found that a lot of them are taking action to reduce their Facebook usage.
Some eye-popping stats from the study:
54% have adjusted their privacy settings.
42% have taken a break from checking Facebook for several weeks or more.
26% have deleted the app from their phone.
Facebook faced significant controversy earlier this year when it was revealed that a British data company, Cambridge Analytica, had exfiltrated personal data from Facebook which it used to manipulate American and British voters.
Since then, Facebook has faced a series of controversies about misinformation and manipulation on its platform in the United States and abroad. On Wednesday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testified in front of a Senate committe about how foreign governments are using social media to spread propaganda.
While these controversies have contributed to slowed growth in Facebook’s stock price, the effect of the “#deletefacebook” trend on Facebook’s brand and demand for the social network has been less apparent.
The survey results released on Wednesday do show that negative news coverage can affect Facebook usage. To be sure, Facebook is a huge network, with over 1 billion users. But eventually, if the Pew Study does accurately indicate a broader trend of people deleting facebook, these trends will start to take a toll on the top and bottom lines of Facebook’s financial results.
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