The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal led to an outrage amongst users, resulting in a #DeleteFacebook movement. Facebook users started using hashtag DeleteFacebook and threatened to leave Facebook to protest in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica data breach. The consulting firm improperly obtained the data of around 87 million Facebook users for Donald Trump election campaign. While Facebook has survived a number of scandals in the past few years, this CA data breach scandal was one of the biggest image management challenge faced by Facebook.
Even though the Delete Facebook movement gained a lot of support and popularity, not many users have actually deleted their Facebook accounts. According to a survey conducted by a consulting firm named Creative Strategies, 17 percent out of 1000 Americans uninstalled Facebook application from their mobile phones whereas only 9 percent out of 1000 deleted their Facebook accounts. Also, 35% of the people surveyed claimed that they have started using Facebook less than they used to before because they are concerned about their privacy. 39% of the surveyed people claimed to be “very aware” of the CA scandal whereas 37% people said that they were “somewhat aware.”
An analyst named Carolina Milanesi said that Facebook may not get worried over these numbers. Although Facebook should worry because the users are taking drastic steps which will directly impact the business model of Facebook. She added that 35 percent of the surveyed people claimed to have started using Facebook lesser than they used to. On that note, she said that the valid risk for Facebook is lower user engagement. 35 percent of the survey takers changed their privacy settings on Facebook and 28 percent of the survey takers claimed that they never had any trust on Facebook. Milanesi said that lesser engagement of users will be less valuable to the brands paying for the services of Facebook.
In March, the allegations of Cambridge Analytica breach broke out. The company and its associates were banned from Facebook. When asked why do people use Facebook, approximately half of the survey takers said that they use facebook to remain connected with their family and friends who live in a distant area or who they have lost touch with. 20 percent of the survey takers said that they use Facebook to kill boredom.
A week ago, Mark Zuckerberg testified in Capitol Hill and confirmed that Facebook has neither seen any significant increase in the number of users deactivating Facebook accounts nor a decrease in the amount of user interaction on the platform. Earlier, in a press call, he had said that the Facebook account discontinuation after the #DeleteFacebook movement have had no meaningful impact. He further added that the #DeleteFacebook effort was not good because he didn’t want users to be unhappy with the services offered by Facebook and their company. He said that it will take a lot of work to repair the trust. In order to get back the trust of users, Facebook is introducing new security tools and refreshing the existing ones.
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