Facebook users are losing trust—but aren’t cancelling their accounts

by | Apr 10, 2018 | Public Relations

A new survey from marketing communications agency MGH reveals that among respondents who were aware of the news about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a full 67 percent trust the social media giant less than they did before the crisis.

Even worse, when asked if they trust Facebook to keep their personal information safe, more than 70 percent disagreed, with 38 percent completely disagreeing and 33 percent somewhat disagreeing.

The MGH survey sought to determine if there are now trust issues between these users and the social media giant, following revelations that a political data firm hired by President Trump’s 2016 election campaign gained access to private information from more than 50 million Facebook users.

Has hearing about Cambridge Analytica collecting Facebook user data affected your trust in Facebook?

Facebook users are losing trust—but aren’t cancelling their accounts

But despite this lack of trust in Facebook’s ability to protect user data, 57 percent of those aware of recent news about Cambridge Analytica and Facebook say they are unlikely to delete their account.

How likely are you to delete your Facebook account because of the Cambridge Analytica news stories?

Facebook users are losing trust—but aren’t cancelling their accounts

Of the other social media options available should users decide to leave Facebook altogether, 24 percent of all respondents said they’d move to Facebook-owned Instagram as their primary channel, while 19 percent chose Twitter and 4 percent said they’d move to Snapchat. More than half of those surveyed were unsure of where they would go if they left Facebook, or if they would continue to use social media at all.

If you were to delete your Facebook account, what social media channel would you primarily use instead?

Facebook users are losing trust—but aren’t cancelling their accounts

“While trust in Facebook has clearly taken a severe hit, this survey shows that users are still very apprehensive to leave the network altogether,” said Ryan Goff, chief marketing officer and social media marketing director at MGH, in a news release. “Marketers should take noteusers may be angry with Facebook, but whether it’s to stay in touch with family and friends, or because they still get their news on the platform, they won’t be deleting their accounts anytime soon.”

Other notable stats included:

  • When asked if those surveyed believed that Facebook values users like them, 22 percent said they completely disagreed, 24 percent somewhat disagreed, 25 percent remained neutral, 23 percent agreed somewhat and only 6 percent completely agreed.
  • While more than 66 percent say they trust Facebook less now, 33 percent say their trust has not changed in the network.
  • Most of those surveyed say they are very unlikely to delete their account, though 22 percent say they are somewhat unlikely, 26 percent say they aren’t sure, 12 percent are somewhat likely and 5 percent are very likely to leave Facebook.
  • Of those surveyed, daily Facebook users are least likely to delete their account (41 percent).
  • Of those surveyed, 46 percent disagree completely or somewhat that Facebook values users like them.

In March 2018, MGH conducted an online survey of 659 U.S. adults ages 18+ who use Facebook and became aware of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal in recent weeks. Responses were collected using SurveyMonkey Audience. The margin of error is +/- 3.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. See full survey results here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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