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Even though social media is proving useful for staying in touch with friends and family during the coronavirus pandemic, tech giants like Facebook, Tencent and Twitter have been under close scrutiny for a variety of reasons for years. Facebook in particular is constantly receiving criticism from various actors for the handling of its users’ data, but the main reason for U.S. residents to not use Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform has become a different one.
As data from The Verge Tech Survey conducted in August 2021 shows, the handling of personal information is still one of the biggest issues for the respondents, with 42 percent claiming to not trust the company with personal information. The tech giant is one of the most regular targets for hacks and leaks, the most recent one allegedly containing publicly available data from 1.5 billion users. Other reasons for survey participants to log off included uninteresting content, other social media preferences and friends and family not using the service. One of the biggest changes in comparison to last year’s survey by The Verge was the jump in mistrust relating to Facebook’s business practices, which have come under review as part of an antitrust lawsuit initiated by the Federal Trade Commission in December 2020 against its parent company Facebook, Inc. While only 27 percent of respondents named Facebook’s business dealings as one of the top reasons for not using the site in 2020, 43 percent identified those practices as a relevant issue in 2021.
Even with criticism of the tech giant being widespread, large chunks of the world population still regularly use its social media services. Facebook alone is used by 2.9 billion people around the world, while its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram boast two billion and one billion monthly active users, respectively, according to most recent numbers published by the company.
This chart shows the top reasons not to use Facebook for U.S. residents.