Mark Zuckerberg’s former personal pollster is out with new numbers showing that around 54 million Americans believe Facebook has a negative impact on society. They rank it slightly better than Marlboro cigarettes, but worse than McDonald’s fast food. Recode has the story:
“In the U.S. obviously we’re very focused on election interference, and in the U.K. they’ve been focused on that as well with Brexit,” McGinn told Recode. “But there are also things like, ‘how does it affect children, how does the platform create addiction, how does the platform encourage extremism, how does the platform push American values onto other countries?’”
There’s also the issue of Facebook’s data policies, which McGinn, who spent three years at Google, says are a result of Facebook’s DNA.
“The culture has always been focused on driving usage, on getting more people to use and how to get them to spend longer on the platform,” he said. “It influences every decision, large and small.”
“McGinn says he isn’t trying to take shots at his former employer — he just thinks the data is too important to ignore,” Recode adds.
Only seven percent of Americans believe Google has a negative impact on society, the polling revealed.
Worse news for Facebook: the polling was conducted before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. The polls were conducted in January and February among 10,000 consumers in 10 countries.
A more recent Gallup poll reported that fifty-five percent of Americans are concerned about their personal data being sold and used by other companies, NPR reported. An even more recent poll of one thousand Americans by the technology research group Techpinions revealed that seventeen percent had deleted the Facebook app from their phones over privacy concerns brought to light by the scandal, and nine percent had deleted their Facebook account altogether, Business Insider reported. Zuckerberg testified before Congress that there had been no mass exodus of users in the wake of the scandal; however, it should be noted that Americans make up only a fraction of Facebook users worldwide.