Facebook is facing a major trust backlash in light of the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal, yet paradoxically, an overwhelming number of Americans said they still like the platform.
Two-thirds of Americans — 66 percent — professed liking Facebook, while 55 admitted they no longer trust the site, according to a recent poll on Americans’ perceptions of tech companies released by San Francisco-based tech firm Bospar.
Overall, the study found that Americans’ favorite tech company is Google. An impressive 88.9 percent of respondents said they like the search engine giant, and 78 percent said they also trust the company. Microsoft took a close second place, which earned an 83.7 percent favorability rating and a trust rating of 77.6 percent. Despite its high rate of user distrust, Facebook came in third for most-liked company. LinkedIn, Uber and Twitter followed the social media giant, but of those companies, only Uber trailed Facebook in the distrust department.
The Bospar poll asked Americans how long is too long for a company to wait before responding to a crisis, and found that more than one in three — 35 percent — answered 24 hours. Nearly a third — 29 percent — said 48 hours, and 16 percent followed with 72 hours.
The poll’s findings come as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Capitol Hill lawmakers this week, first appearing at a five-hour hearing before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees. Zuckerberg is set to testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today.
Facebook continues to face mounting criticism after data analysis and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to the personal data of 87 million of the site’s users in a bid to pitch them Trump-related materials for the 2016 election. Facebook admits that it knew about the problem as far back as 2015, but didn’t publicly confirm the leak until the New York Times broke news of the scandal in March.
When asked what recent tech-related PR crisis was handled the best, nearly half of respondents cited Apple’s admissions in December 2017 that it had intentionally slowed down the performance of older iPhone models via its operating software updates. The least admired crisis response involved the recent security breach of athletic apparel brand Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app, which compromised as many of 150 million user accounts.
Bospar’s study was conducted in early April by market research company Propeller Insights and polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults online.