Many in America — and in other countries — think the embattled social network is having a negative societal impact, per a survey by Mark Zuckerberg’s former personal pollster
Here’s another bone to pick with Facebook.
Nearly one-third of Americans (31.7%) think the embattled social network is having a “negative impact on society,” according to a survey conducted in recent months by CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s former personal pollster, Tavis McGinn. That view was even more widely held among respondents in Australia (33.4%), Canada (33.3%) and the U.K. (32.2%), per the results reported by Recode.
The survey research was conducted on 10,000 respondents across 10 nations in January and February, prior to recent revelations that the British data firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly harvested personal data from up to 87 million Facebook users to create targeted political ads. Facebook had already come under fire for its role in the proliferation of fake news on the platform during the 2016 election.
While McGinn and his Honest Data company didn’t delve into specifics of this “negative” societal impact, the pollster had some ideas. “In the U.S. obviously we’re very focused on election interference, and in the U.K. they’ve been focused on that as well with Brexit,” he told Recode. “But there are also things like, ‘how does it affect children, how does the platform create addiction, how does the platform encourage extremism, how does the platform push American values onto other countries?’”
Zuckerberg sat for a grueling two-day congressional testimony before House and Senate lawmakers this week, fielding hundreds of questions about data collection and user privacy, censorship of conservative content, and whether the platform should be regulated.
The tech billionaire, for his part, has cut a contrite figure. “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake. And I’m sorry,” Zuckerberg said Tuesday during his testimony before the Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committees. “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
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