Most Americans think that Facebook has a negative effect on society, partly due to how the company runs itself, but mostly due to how some people use the social media platform, according to a new poll from CNN.
SSRS, the survey and market research firm that conducted the poll, found that the vast majority of respondents said that Facebook "makes American society worse," while just over 1 in 10 said that it makes society better, and about the same said that Facebook has no effect on American society. More:
- 76% say Facebook makes society worse.
- 11% say it makes society better.
- 13% say it has no effect on society.
When the respondents who said that Facebook makes society worse were asked why:
- 55% said it’s due to the way some people use Facebook.
- 45% said it’s due to the way Facebook is run.
CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan told CNN Newsroom hosts Erica Hill and Jim Sciutto on Wednesday that while "Facebook always points to their own internal data" when defending their algorithms and how the social media platform is run, "our polling shows a bit of a different story, where people are seeing content regularly they don’t want to see, they don’t like."
Most respondents also said that the federal government should increase its regulation of Facebook.
- 53% said to increase regulation.
- 11% said to decrease regulation.
- 35% said not to change regulation.
Respondents were split on whether they know someone who has been "persuaded to believe in a conspiracy theory because of content on Facebook," with almost half saying they knew someone who fit that description, and just over half saying they didn’t:
- 49% know someone like that.
- 51% don’t know someone like that.
O’Sullivan said that according to their poll, tens of millions of people knew someone who had been convinced by content on Facebook to believe in a conspiracy theory.
"We have spoken to many, many people who have found themselves, loved ones, down rabbit holes of disinformation whether it’s about vaccines, whether it’s about the election, or something else," O’Sullivan said.
SSRS polled 1,004 adults on the SSRS Opinion Panel, which is a nationally representative panel of American adults, from Nov. 1-4, 2021, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
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