Facebook’s Favorability Takes Massive Hit Since Last FDP Poll; Twitter and Instagram Brands suffer while Google and YouTube Remain Positive
WASHINGTON — New exclusive polling conducted by Public Policy Polling for Factual Democracy Project (FDP) finds that public trust in Facebook has hit new lows, and a record 71 percent of Americans want Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress about the company’s failures to protect the its users from unauthorized data breaches.
Demands that Zuckerberg testify before Congress cross party lines — 71 percent of those who voted for Clinton want Zuckerberg to testify, while 72 percent of Trump voters want him to testify before Congress.
Months of high-profile scandals have deeply tarnished the Facebook brand. Public approval of Facebook has taken a massive nosedive since the FDP last tracked the question six months ago. Facebook had a net favorability rating of -18 points, a 19 point drop from when FDP asked the question last in September.
“We are watching a historic moment of reckoning unfold in real time,” said Melissa Ryan, founder of Factual Democracy Project. “Americans have been playing close attention to story after story involving Facebook’s failure to protect our elections from foreign interference, and now its failure to protect our personal data. The stakes for Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony are clear from the polling data. If he wants to turn things around at Facebook, it will start in the halls of Congress.”
FDP polling shows that Americans have are watching Facebook’s troubles closely. In September, a 56 percent majority of Americans had heard or read a story about how Facebook had allowed foreign agents to use the platform for political advertising in the 2016 election. Similarly, this new round of polling, conducted one week after the first reports that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to scrape the personal information of more than 50 million Americans, found that a 58 percent majority of Americans had heard about the scandal.
- Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are both taking a hit — both have a -11 net favorability, though Zuckerberg is more widely known.
- 70 percent of Americans say they do not trust Facebook to keep their personal information safe. 48 percent of Americans now say they will either reduce their use of Facebook or delete their accounts entirely.
- Democrats are slightly more likely (54 percent) to either delete their Facebook account or use it less than Republicans (46 percent).
- Google and YouTube are the tech brands with the strongest approval rating. All the other brands — Twitter, Instagram, and Cambridge Analytica — have net negative ratings.
- While the public strongly disapproves of Facebook, there isn’t a clear idea about what should happen next — only 34 percent think the government can be trusted to deliver effective regulation and even less — 10 percent — think tech companies will do it on their own.
The poll of 577 registered voters was conducted March 23-25 by Public Policy Polling. The margin of error is 4.1 percent.
Factual Democracy Project brings together experts that span tech, media, national security and civil society groups to explain how to fight back against efforts that use fake news — propaganda, disinformation and misinformation to disrupt our elections and our Democracy.
Founder Melissa Ryan has spent a decade leading digital campaigns for nonprofits and political races, including EMILY’s List, Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, the New Organizing Institute, and Senator Russ Feingold. She is an expert on the intersection of politics, media, and technology. She’s often called on by conference organizers and the press to speak on these topics. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaRyan.
March 29, 2018