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Poll Shows Less Than Half Of Americans Trust Facebook

The fallout for Facebook continues. A new opinion poll shows that the majority of Americans no longer trust Facebook to protect their privacy.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, only 41 percent of Americans trust Facebook to obey laws that protect their personal information. That’s compared with 66 percent who said they trust Amazon.com, 62 percent who have faith in Google, and 60 percent who trust Microsoft.

And Americans aren’t the only ones losing trust in the social media site: A survey published by Bild am Sonntag in Germany found that 60 percent of Germans are worried that Facebook and other social networks are negatively affecting democracy.

Last week it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, was able to access data on 50 million users beginning in 2014. It then allegedly used the data to help get U.S. President Donald Trump elected in 2016.

In ads placed in papers in the U.S. and the U.K., Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg apologized for “a breach of trust.”

“We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it,” said the advertisement, which ran in the Observer in Britain and the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. “This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time.”

Facebook shares fell 14 percent last week, and the hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending online.

But as eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson said in an interview, it’s too soon to count Facebook out. She used the example of customers of banks or other industries who do not always quit after losing trust.

“It’s psychologically harder to let go of a platform like Facebook that’s become pretty well ingrained into people’s lives,” she said.

And data by the Israeli firm SimilarWeb, which measures global online audiences, seems to support Williamson’s opinion, showing that Facebook usage in major markets and worldwide remained steady over the past week.

“Desktop, mobile and app usage has remained steady and well within the expected range,” said Gitit Greenberg, SimilarWeb’s director of market insights. “It is important to separate frustration from actual tangible impacts to Facebook usage.”

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