There’s outrage in Washington over the Russians’ use of Facebook to sow turmoil throughout final yr’s U.S. elections. But Facebook customers barely appear to care. That’s most likely as a result of they’re used to faux information on Facebook (FB).
Yahoo Finance performed an internet survey to gauge Facebook customers’ issues over abuse of the platform by Russian propagandists and different forms of hackers and scammers. Seventy-eight p.c of respondents instructed us they’ve encountered faux information on Facebook, and 70% stated they’ve obtained good friend requests from accounts they consider to be faux. Nearly 1,000 individuals took the survey, which was performed on Nov. 1. We restricted the survey to individuals who have had a Facebook account throughout the previous 5 years. Here are the complete outcomes.
Facebook’s popularity appears to have taken a light hit from the Russian controversy. Fifty-two p.c of respondents instructed us they belief Facebook lower than they did a yr in the past, whereas solely 9.6% instructed us they belief Facebook extra. Growing mistrust correlates with much less exercise on the location. Thirty-seven p.c of respondents instructed us they use Facebook lower than they did a yr in the past, whereas solely 17% stated they use it extra. Since these respondents skew towards the Yahoo Finance viewers — older, whiter and wealthier than the general inhabitants — they don’t essentially replicate how younger persons are utilizing the social-media platform.
We discovered anecdotal proof of rising discomfort with the tone of political discourse on Facebook. “Too many people use it as a platform to tear down others,” Ralph Comegna of Joppa, Mo., instructed Yahoo Finance. “Too many negative feelings and conflicts. Better to just disengage.”
“I liked it better when it first came out and was about people connecting socially,” stated Jonathan Papac of Kennesaw, Ga. Now, he says, the location is “politicized and commercialized. No thanks!”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that policing the location has turn out to be “more important that maximizing our profits.” The firm is within the midst of hiring 10,000 further staffers to badist enhance on-line safety. That means an astonishing 60% of its workforce might be allotted to controlling questionable customers and content material.
That may very well be a sensible long-term transfer. In the Yahoo Finance survey, 44% of respondent stated they plan to make use of Facebook much less sooner or later, whereas solely 19% stated they plan to make use of it extra. Still, there’s a distinction between what individuals say they plan to do, and what they really find yourself doing. “I’ve heard people for years say, ‘ I’m going to use Facebook less,’ or ‘Facebook is so yesterday,’” says Jim Anderson, CEO of Social Flow, a social media writer. “Then Facebook posts another record quarter. I don’t think the evidence supports the idea that people are abandoning it yet.” Zuckerberg hopes to maintain it that approach.
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Rick Newman is the writer of 4 books, together with Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman