Facebook Users Still Seem To Love The Site Despite Public Backlash

Eric Lieberman | Tech and Law Reporter

A large majority of Facebook’s American users are visiting the platform just as much, if not more, since the company has been hit with substantial public backlash.

Specifically, roughly half of U.S. users said they have not altered the amount of time spent on the site, according to Reuters, which conducted the poll with Ipsos from April 26-30. Around a quarter of respondents said they were actually more active recently. The rest said they use it less, with a small portion of 3 percent expressing how they’ve deleted their accounts.

The poll seems to be further indication — despite a sinking positive perception from the public — that Facebook hasn’t been devastated by significant points of contention, like whether it cares about data on users’ traits and tendencies and how its platform is manipulated. There have always been some skeptics, but distrust intensified following the 2016 presidential election after Russian operatives were caught trying to foment divisiveness and schisms among the American populace. It escalated further after the suspension of a data analytics firm that worked with President Donald Trump, and violated a data usage and extraction agreement with the social media company.

That episode — arguably along with a couple others — led to Congress summoning and questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and a spate of harsh criticism and threats of regulation. (RELATED: Zuckerberg On Cambridge Analytica Suspension: ‘We Have A Responsibility To Protect Your Data’)

Zuckerberg said it will take months, even years, to effectively address all of the concerns large portions of the public have with his platform, like terrorist exploitation, fraudulent news, ostensible hate speech, and excessive data extraction. And despite promises to do more to stop such phenomenons, end relationships with third-party data brokers, and restrict menaces’ and evildoers’ access, Facebook is still way less liked than it used to be.

Having said that, people are still using the platform, and often, according to the Reuters survey, showing that Facebook’s bottom line may not take as big of a hit as first presumed.

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