Facebook users don’t care so much about privacy

A new poll by USA Today/Gallup says regular Facebook users don't really care that much about privacy. 

Mar 3, 2020, 11:05 am*

Internet Culture

Dave Copeland 

Dave Copeland

In some ways, it sounds like the business model for your neighborhood narcotics dealer: the more customers use your product, the less concerned they become about its potential downsides.

But, in reality, its one of many telling findings in a USA Today/Gallup poll covering all things Facebook: the more people use Facebook, the less concerned they are with privacy issues.

Findings also show that 56 percent of people who know about Facebook’s new Timeline feature don’t like it. But people who did not use the site daily were less likely to know about it. Only 34 percent of people who logged into Facebook daily knew about the social network’s new features; by comparison, 87 percent of daily users are aware of the features, according to the telephone poll of 2,000 adults.

The poll found that only 26 percent of Facebook users had “serious privacy concerns,” but it’s not clear why and whether people who worry about privacy simply avoid Facebook.  Of the 2,000 poll respondents, 48 percent had Facebook profiles, and of those, 30 percent checked them several times per day.

Other online commentators questioned the poll’s timing, since so many Facebook users don’t have timelines yet.

“Pointless. Polling people before they have fb timelines?!” Monika Meisha tweeted.

Of course, Facebook has powered through some initial, bad reactions to new features in the past. The latest round of complaining largely stems from the replacement of the News Feed with the Timeline. But when Facebook first launched the News Feed with an explanation in this 2006 blog post, the reaction was nearly as bitter, albeit smaller because the site was much smaller.

“WOW….a stalkers dream come true. You rock facebook! *heavy sarcasm*,”  Robinette Desrochers posted in response to the blog post that promised users would be able to see “when your crush is single again.”

Photo by opensourceway

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*First Published: Oct 18, 2011, 3:18 pm