A new Washington Post survey of a wide range of internet users found that 60% don’t trust Instagram and 72% don’t trust Facebook to responsibly handle personal information and data on their online activity.
According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, Americans of all ages and across the political spectrum were round to largely agree on one topic: they do not trust social media services with their personal information. Of particular note, a majority of do not trust either Instagram or Facebook and 64% say the government should be doing more as far as oversight or regulation of big tech companies.
The survey asked a range of respondents to say whether they trusted or trusted less a company with their data, and within the first, if they trusted them a great deal or a good amount and the second, if they trusted them not much, not at all, or had no opinion. Of note, only 10% of respondents said that Facebook has had a positive impact on society.
In a year where Instagram has faced ever-mounting criticism, these results probably don’t come as a surprise. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal uncovered an internal report that showed Instagram was aware that its product was harmful to teens, but had not taken any action. The company is still under investigation. Later, a whistleblower showed that Facebook as a company, now Meta, repeatedly chose profits over the safety of its users and said Instagram was more dangerous than other social media.
Since the multiple reports have surfaced, Instagram and Facebook have scrambled to repair each of their images. Instagram has hastily added a few new features and announced several more that are designed to help curb the toxicity on its platform while Facebook rebranded itself likely to distance its leadership team from the badly tainted Facebook name. But according to the poll information, none of these strategies has done much to instill positive feedback on either brand from internet users.
Methodology: The poll was conducted by The Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University from November 4 through the 22, among a random national sample of 1,122 adults including 1,058 Internet users. Respondents were contacted by mail through a random sample of U.S. households and completed the survey online or by mailing back a questionnaire. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for overall results, and four points among Internet users. Sampling, data collection, and tabulation conducted by SSRS of Glen Mills, Pa.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.