Startling new survey data has revealed that 83 percent of UK consumers believe Facebook needs to be regulated. The poll, which was carried out by One Poll on behalf of cybersecurity experts Eskenzi PR, highlights that the opinions of the UK public mirror those of MPs that something needs to be done to curb the power of the world’s largest social media platform. Unbelievably, only four percent of survey respondents said they do not believe Facebook needs to be regulated.
When survey respondents were asked the reasons why they believe Facebook should be regulated, 73 percent felt the social platform is damaging peoples’ mental health while 70 percent said they believe fake news is damaging democracy. Other answers to the question revealed that people are concerned Facebook is not responsible with their data, while many others were concerned about privacy issues, data misuse, cyber bullying and that the platform is being used by cybercriminals.
The survey results follow the recent report from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport which concluded that the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has failed to show “leadership or personal responsibility” over fake news and that the company is failing in its duty of care to its users. The report also called for a compulsory code of ethics to be introduced for big tech companies which would be overseen by an independent regulator.
“We have recently seen a real arrogance coming from Facebook and our survey shows the general public are waking up to this. More importantly, a massive majority of people not only think the platform is harming people’s mental health but also impacting our democracy, privacy and damaging security. While we were expecting some backlash to Facebook, we would never have expected the numbers from our study to be so surprisingly high. There can be no disputing what the public clearly thinks is a necessary step,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, director of Eskenzi PR.
The survey also revealed huge variations in opinions based on respondents age groups. Seventy percent of the 55+ respondents strongly agreed that Facebook should be regulated, which compared to just 36 percent of those in the 25-34 age group.