In the wake of recent scandals over the social network giant Facebook, a large number of Americans seem to step back from the platform, according to Pew Reseach Center survey. Are private user data a real issue? Let’s have a look.
Cambridge Analytica scandal changed the way people use Facebook
According to Wednesday’s study, three-fourth of US Facebook users have taken some steps to change how they interact with Facebook, half of them having changed their privacy settings. Indeed, people seem to be concerned by foreign influence campaigns on the platform and hijacking of private data by political firm Cambridge Analytica.
Researcher Andrew Perrin said in a blog post that those concerns appear to transcend political affiliation, as the poll found that nearly identical shares of Democrats, Republicans and political independent use Facebook.
Facebook by kids and teenagers
The survey also highlights that most of the people who have changed their ways of using Facebook are part of the 18-29 group. A figure that reminds us to ask ourselves : « Shall I let my kids use Facebook? ». Indeed, young people do not always realise the risks of exposing their life on the internet, and that’s our job as parents to teach them. But do we really know the risk ourselves?
A young mum from Ohio did not know what to do regarding her children using Facebook and even launched her own survey towards her friends mums to know what they decided for their kids. She found out that approximately a third of them made their kids delete their Facebook profile, another third asked them to delete the apps from their phones and the last third let them continue using the social network but spent time explaining the dangers to their kids. If you think you need help to make your mind, you too can launch your own survey by clicking here.
Switching to another social network
After the Facebook scandals, it seems that many switched to other social networks such as Snapchat or Instagram. The thing is, do we really know if these social networks are more ethic and reliable? Knowing that Instagram is Facebook-owned, how can we be sure that it is not as bad as Facebook? It is not because we don’t know what happens that nothing happens.
As a conclusion, not using social network is definitely the best way to keep our privacy, but in today’s society, not using social networks is also kind of living in a cave in a forest. Like drugs, stopping our kids from using these networks could traumatise them if all their friends can for instance, so best is probably to teach them how to do it right and let them the choice to deal with their life, with proper education and advices on the dangers it involves.