Nearly Half of Social Media Users View Facebook Negatively After Cambridge Analytica but Many Still Use the Platform, New Survey Finds
Two-Thirds of Social Media Users (65%) Are Aware of the Cambridge Analytica Facebook Data Breach, but Only 37% Say They Use Facebook Less Often After News Broke of the Scandal Last March, According to a New Survey
Forty-four percent (44%) of social media users still have a negative opinion of Facebook because of the Cambridge Analytica data breach, according to a new survey from The Manifest, a business news and how-to website.
In March 2018, news broke that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica acquired and used 50 million Facebook users’ personal data without their express permission.
People became distrustful of Facebook because of Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook has not gained back some users’ trust.
“Facebook really tried to give an image that this type of thing wasn’t happening, that their data was safe,” said Steve Pearson, CEO of Friendemic, an online reputation company. “To see something like this come out, it was a blow to many consumers who were otherwise trusting.”
People view Facebook more negatively since the Cambridge Analytica data breach, but that doesn’t mean the scandal deterred people from using the platform.
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People Still Use Facebook, Despite Negative Opinion
The Cambridge Analytica scandal didn’t permanently affect people’s use of Facebook.
Although people still view Facebook negatively, just 37% use Facebook less often than they did before the data breach.
“While they may say they have concerns, I don’t think it’s been enough for many of them to use Facebook less,” said Chad Richards, vice president of social media services at Firebelly Marketing, a social media marketing agency. “That ‘Quit Facebook’ movement lost steam.”
People are still upset with Facebook but not enough to leave it.
Some businesses, too, still value Facebook and use it as often as before the breach.
“We continue to use Facebook as frequently as we did before,” said Katharine Pebworth, a digital marketer at Alexander Advertising. “We haven’t seen a huge difference in our engagement rates and continue to incorporate Facebook into all our digital marketing campaigns and strategies.”
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Cambridge Analytica Deterred More Millennials Than Older Generations
Older generations were less likely to decrease their Facebook use as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Forty-one percent (41%) of millennials use Facebook less because of the data breach, compared to 37% of Generation Xers and 24% of baby boomers.
Older generations depend more on Facebook than younger generations, who use a variety of platforms.
“When [millennials] leave Facebook, they don’t fully lose the information and sense of belonging that they have on social media,” said Josh Krakauer, founder and CEO of Sculpt, a social media marketing agency. “It doesn’t feel like a lifeline was totally cut off for some of them, where it might for an older user.”
The Manifest’s 2019 Consumer Social Media Survey included 521 people in the US who use social media at least once per week.
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