A national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll sought to examine Americans’ thoughts about many aspects of technology, from government regulation of tech firms to the use of ride sharers to people’s feelings on social media. And if you’re Facebook, the poll’s results weren’t good.
The poll found that 60% of Americans don’t trust Facebook with their personal information. Further, 57% of Americans agreed with the statement that social media sites do more to divide the country than unite it. “Social media–and Facebook, in particular–have some serious issues in this poll. If America was giving social media a Yelp review, a majority would give it zero stars,” said Micah Roberts, a pollster at Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the poll along with Hart Research Associates. Other findings from the poll:
- 28% of Americans don’t trust Amazon with their data.
- 37% of Americans don’t trust Google with their data.
- 35% of Americans don’t trust the federal government with their data.
- 74% of Americans think that letting social media companies collect and use data about them in return for free services is not a fair trade-off.
- 55% believe social media does more to spread lies and falsehoods.
- 31% says social media does more to spread news and information.
- 61% says social media does more to spread unfair attacks and rumors against public figures and corporations.
- 32% says social media does more to hold those public figures and corporations accountable.
- A staggering 82% of Americans think social media sites waste people’s time.
- That being said, 69% of Americans admit to using social media at least once a day.
- The negative view of social media is shared equally by men and women, urban and rural dwellers, and Democrats and Republicans.
- However, younger Americans are less likely to view social media as a dividing force than older Americans.
- While social media fared negatively in the poll, Americans are more upbeat about technology in general, with 59% of Americans saying technology has more benefits than drawbacks.
- 60% of Americans feel more hopeful than worried about the changes technological advances will bring in the next five years.
- 47% of Americans think the federal government should break up Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook into smaller companies.
- Only 24% of Americans used a ride sharer like Uber or Lyft in the past month.
The poll was conducted from March 23-27 and included respondents from 1,000 adults.