Six months after the revelations surrounding Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and the illegal harvesting of user data to manipulate public opinion ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Americans’ relationship with Facebook is complicated, to say the least.
The scandal severely damaged peoples’ trust in social media companies and many have changed their online behavior in response to it. According to a recent Pew Research survey, more than half of Facebook users in the United States have changed their privacy setting in the past 12 months, 4 in 10 have taken a Facebook break of several weeks within in last year and more than a quarter of the respondents have deleted the Facebook app from their phone.
Facebook is currently in the process of ensuring that the likes of Cambridge Analytica won’t be able to exploit the social network’s user data in the future, but even if the company succeeds in doing so, a lot of damage has been done. If the scandal has brought one thing to peoples’ attention, it’s the fact that social media usage does have a dark side and this awareness may come back to haunt Facebook in the long run.
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