- 60% of Americans say they don’t trust Facebook with their personal information, according to a recent NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll. 82 per cent of respondents said that social media sites waste people’s time.
- The poll, which included 1,000 respondents and was conducted between March 23-March 27, comes as social media giants face privacy scandals and scrutiny for not doing enough to moderate harmful content online.
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The majority of Americans negatively view social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, according to a not-so-surprising national NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll, with 60% of respondents saying they don’t trust Facebook with their personal information.
The poll, which included 1,000 respondents and was conducted between March 23-27, comes as social media giants face privacy scandals and scrutiny for not doing enough to moderate harmful content online. Last month, the Christchurch shooter took to Facebook to livestream his attack on two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people. Facebook has also faced criticism for not doing enough to moderate the anti-Muslim hate speech in Myanmar that influenced what many have described as genocide against the country’s Rohingya Muslim population. Hundreds of thousands of whom were ultimately forced to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh in response to the mass violence.
On Monday, the UK announced a new policy aimed at regulating global tech companies to better address “harmful content” on those platforms.
According to the March poll, 57% of Americans believe that social media sites have done more to divide the country than unite it, and 55% say that social media does more to spread lies and falsehoods. Around six out of ten respondents also think that social media platforms spread unfair attacks and rumours against public figures and corporations.
Most alarming: 82% said that social media sites do more to waste people’s time, compared to the 15% of people who think those platforms use Americans’ time well. The negative views toward social media were expressed by a diverse grouping of people, including Democrats, Republicans, men, women, white-collar, and blue-collar workers. Younger people, however, were less likely to believe that social media divides the country.
Despite those largely negative views toward the platforms, however, 60% of people were hopeful about the changes that technology could bring to their lives over the next five years, and 69% of Americans in March 2019 noted that they still use social media at least once a day – if not more. Around four in 10 people have made attempts to limit or quit using social media over the last couple of years.
“Social media – and Facebook, in particular – have some serious issues in this poll,” Micah Roberts, a pollster at the firm Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the survey with the firm Hart Research Associates, told NBC News. “If America was giving social media a Yelp review, a majority would give it zero stars.”
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