The majority of internet users do not trust Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram with their data, new polling shows.
An estimated 72% of U.S. internet users do not trust Facebook to "responsibly handle" their personal information or data, according to a Washington Post/Schar-School poll of 1,058 respondents conducted Nov. 4-22 with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
TikTok was the second-least trusted company, with 63% of respondents saying they don't trust the video-sharing app, followed by Instagram at 60%. Only slight majorities distrusted Whatsapp and YouTube, at 53% each.
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Google, Apple, and Microsoft's trust ratings were mixed, with the three companies receiving trust and distrust scores in the lower 40s. The most trusted company was Amazon, at 53%.
Respondents also believed their devices were listening in on them without consent, with about 7 in 10 surveyed saying their devices are listening to them "very often" or "somewhat often."
Social media companies have suffered from widespread diminished credibility in recent months in the United States. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has been at the center of controversy due to the leaked Facebook Papers and whistleblower Frances Haugen's testimony, which alleged the company targeted teenage girls without regard to their mental health.
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The social media companies, along with competitors, such as Twitter, have also received criticism for alleged efforts to censor conservative voices, which they deny. Those on the Right have since created alternative networking sites, including GETTR and Parler.
TikTok has received scrutiny over its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, and the potential security risks that may arise from its affiliations with China.