Americans widely distrust social media with 72% concerned about Facebook, new survey

The Facebook social media site has nearly 3 billion monthly users worldwide

Updated: December 22, 2021 - 10:27am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A new survey shows 64% of respondents in the U.S. think the government should do more to reign in big tech, amid their widespread mistrust about what social media sites do with their information.

The Washington Post-Schar School survey found respondents also view targeted ads as annoying and invasive and that respondents of all ages and political affiliations are expressing such concerns. 

The Facebook social media site has nearly 3 billion monthly users worldwide, according to The Post.

The survey was conducted in November among a random sample of 1,122 adults nationwide.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said "not much" or "not at all" when asked how much they trusted Facebook to responsibly handle their personal information and data.

About six in 10 distrusted TikTok and Instagram, and roughly eight in 10 Internet users said that tech companies fail to provide adequate control over how information about their activities are tracked and used.

Jack Goldstone, who directs the Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions and Policy at the Schar School of Policy and Government, said what's striking about the results is how distrust of Big Tech unifies Republicans and Democrats, despite them likely having different reasons for disliking the companies and their policies.

The margin of error for the Post and Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University was 3.5 percentage points.