CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress this week that there has been no “dramatic fall-off” of users after the Cambridge Analytica revelations. But there certainly have been prominent defections, including Cher, Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey and Rosie O’Donnell.
Sarandon tweeted her discontent today, which she attributed to censorship. She also posted to Instagram, a platform that’s owned by Facebook.
She’s not alone.
In Silicon Valley, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said growing concerns about the lack of privacy and security on Facebook prompted his exit. “Everything we are doing is being watched or monitored, known to other people,” Woz said this week in an interview with USA Today.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk — who deleted the Facebook pages for both companies in March, tweeting that the social network “gives me the willies” — is now calling for regulation.
“[W]henever there’s something that affects the public good, then there does need to be some form of public oversight,” Musk told CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.
Veteran technology analyst Carolina Milanesi wanted to examine how the public felt about Facebook now, after hours of testimony about the data leak, so she ran a study across 1,000 Americans who represent the U.S. population in gender and age.
About 28% of those interviewed never trusted Facebook to begin with (a number that grows to 35% among men). When asked how the social network can restore trust, 41% of those surveyed said they need a better understanding of what data is shared, and about the same number want the ability to decide whether they’re OK with sharing this information.
“It seems to me that what users are asking for is more transparency rather than more tools to manage their settings,” wrote Milanesi. “How can I manage my information if I don’t even understand what and how it is used?”
A small percent of these panelists, 15%, said there’s no way Facebook can regain trust.
Privacy is of paramount concern: 36% said they were “very concerned” and another 41% described themselves as “somewhat” worried. And behavior is changing as a result: 17% deleted the Facebook app from their phones, 11% deleted it from other devices, and 9% deleted their accounts altogether.
Less drastic steps can have a real impact on Facebook, Milanesi wrote. Some 39% of those interviewed said they were more careful about what they post or how they react to friends’ posts, and a little more than one-third said they’re using Facebook less.
“This should be the real concern for Facebook, as unengaged users will prove less valuable to brands who are paying for Facebook’s services,” Milanesi wrote.