It’s been a year since Facebook‘s Cambridge Analytica data breach – and 44 percent of users still have a negative opinion of the company as a result – but most people still use the social media site, according to a new survey.
In March 2018 it was discovered that the political consulting firm had obtained personal data of more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission, drawing rage and many pledges to delete profiles and quit the site.
However, only 37 percent of Americans say they use Facebook less frequently, compared to 16 percent who use it more often and 42 percent who are on the site just as regularly as prior to the scandal, according to the survey of 521 social media users by The Manifest.
This graph breaks down by generation how often Americans use Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal
This pie chart breaks down the share of Americans who feel more negatively, more positive and no different about Facebook a year after the Cambridge Analytica data breach
That’s despite the fact that a majority (65 percent) of users are aware of the breach. Researchers did not obtain data on how many users have actually quit the site since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
‘To me, it’s amazing that more than half of U.S. social media users are aware of one single company and its actions,’ Josh Krakauer, founder and CEO of Sculpt, a social media marketing agency in Iowa, told The Manifest. ‘That’s a pretty big deal.’
Response to the scandal is split along generational lines, with Millennials more likely to say they’ve limited their Facebook use (41 percent) and Baby Boomers the most likely to stick with it (68 percent use it the same amount, 5 percent use it more often and just 24 percent have cut back).
‘Facebook really tried to give an image that this type of thing wasn’t happening, that their data was safe,’ said Steve Pearson, CEO of Friendemic, an online reputation company in Salt Lake City.
‘To see something like this come out, it was a blow to many consumers who were otherwise trusting,’ he told The Manifest.
In addition, some businesses are now being more cautious about their use of Facebook, including Scotland-based self-storage company, the Storage Vault, which has cut down posting from twice a day to once a week as a result of the data breach.
‘I think the Cambridge Analytica scandal was the final straw for us when it came to using Facebook as a marketing platform for our business,’ Storage Vault Commercial Director Kraig Martin told The Manifest. ‘We definitely view the platform more negatively following the scandal, and we’ve drastically scaled back our operations on it.’
However, Facebook remains the most popular social media site, with 52 percent of users reporting that it is their most frequently visited network.
This graph illustrates the change in behavior among all Facebook users following the Cambridge Analytica scandal