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Survey: Americans Unfriend Facebook Following Scandals

U.S. News & World Report logo U.S. News & World Report 9/6/2018 Alexa Lardieri
This photo illustration taken on March 27, 2018, shows apps for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks on a smartphone in the Indian capital New Delhi.: According to a new survey, 26 percent of Facebook users have deleted the social media app off their cellphones in the last 12 months. © (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images) According to a new survey, 26 percent of Facebook users have deleted the social media app off their cellphones in the last 12 months.

More than a quarter of Facebook users have deleted the application from their cellphones in the past 12 months following a tumultuous year for the social media giant.

Over that period, even more Americans appear to have changed their relationship with the social media giant, which was mired in scandal when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm, had collected data on millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.

According to a Pew Research Center survey published Wednesday, 26 percent of Facebook users 18 and older have deleted the social media app off their phones following the fallout of the privacy scandal. Additionally, 54 percent of users have adjusted their privacy settings in the last 12 months, and 42 percent have taken a break from checking the site for several or more weeks.

Seventy-four percent of users have taken at least one of these three actions.

The actions users took varied by age. Younger users of the social media site were more likely to take these actions than older users. Nearly twice as many 18- to 29-year-olds, at 64 percent, have adjusted their privacy settings in the last 12 months as those aged 65 and older, at 33 percent. About half of users aged 50 to 64 adjusted their settings, and about 63 percent of those aged 30 to 49 did the same.

Forty-four percent of users aged 18 to 29 have deleted the app from their phone in the past 12 months, compared to just 12 percent of those aged 65 and older. About 20 percent of those aged 50 to 64 have deleted the app, and about 23 percent of those aged 30 to 49 have done the same. While about 40 percent of users 30 and older have taken a break from checking the site, 47 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds have done the same.

To allow for more transparency after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook updated its privacy policies to let users to download data the site had collected on them. Although only 9 percent of users have done so, of those 9 percent, 47 percent have deleted the app from their phones and 79 percent have adjusted their privacy settings.

Pew Research Center conducted the survey of 4,594 adults from May 29 to June 11.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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