Americans give social media a clear thumbs down

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By Mark Murray

WASHINGTON – The American public has negative views on social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, with significant majorities saying that these sites do more to Share the country than unite it and spread the lies than news, according to results from the latest National NBC News / Wall Street Journal survey.

What's more, six out of ten Americans say they don't trust Facebook at all to protect their personal information, polls.

But the public also believes that technology generally has more advantages than the disadvantages of the economy, and respondents are divided on whether the federal government is breaking up the biggest technology companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook.

"Social media – and Facebook, in particular – have some serious issues in this poll," said Micah Roberts, a republican firm Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted this survey with the Democratic firm Hart Research Associates.

"If America gave social media a Yelp review, a majority would give it zero stars," Roberts added.

According to the survey, 57 percent of Americans say they agree that social media like Facebook and Twitter are doing more to share the country, while 35 percent think they are doing more to bring the nation together.

Fifty-five percent think social media is doing more to spread lies and lies, compared to 31 percent who say it does more to spread news and information.

Sixty percent think social media is doing more to spread unfair attacks and rumors against public figures and companies compared to 32 percent saying it does more to keep public figures and companies accountable.

And a lot of 82 percent say that social media do more to waste people's time, compared to 15 percent They say they do more to spend Americans time well.

But these numbers also come as almost seven out of ten Americans – 69 percent – say they use social media at least once a day.

The negative attitudes about social media are shared by Democrats, Republicans, Men, Women, Urban Citizens and Rural.

However, one variable is age – with younger polls it is less likely to believe that social media shares the country and spreads unfair attacks and rumors

Sixty percent do not trust Facebook to protect personal information

NBC / WSJ- The opinion also finds that Americans are down on Facebook, and 60 percent say they don't trust the company at all to protect personal information. 19659007] Only six percent say they trust it either "a lot" or "pretty much."

In contrast, the percentage of Americans who do not trust companies or institutions with personal information is lower for Amazon (28 percent), Google (37 percent) and federal government (35 percent).

And with a margin of 74 percent to 23 percent, respondents say social media companies are gathering the user's personal data to allow advertisers to target them, not an acceptable free or cheaper service deal.

Overall, 36 per cent of adult Facebook sees positive, while 33 per cent see it negatively. And Twitter's rating is 24 percent positive, 27 percent negative.

"If these were political candidates, that would be one thing," said Democratic poll Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates. "But for businesses, you think these reviews would be [more] on the positive side."

Down on social media, but optimistic about technology

Despite these particular attitudes about social media, the NBC / WSJ sentence shows that Americans are concerned about technology in general.

51 percent of respondents agree that technology has more advantages than disadvantages because it means products and services can be cheaper and more efficient.

It is compared to with 36 percent who believe that technology has more disadvantages than benefits because it means workers are being replaced by robots and computers.

And 60 percent of Americans say they feel more hopeful than worried when they think about the changes technology can bring over the next five years.

Asked for the federal government to break up the largest technology companies – such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google – to less competing companies, 47 percent say they agree and 50 percent disagree.

In addition to 69 percent of Americans saying they use social media at least once a day, the NBC / WSJ opinion finds 63 percent that they pay most of their bills online; 48 percent say they have tried to limit the use of the smartphone; 42 percent say they have made an effort to quit or restrict social media; 26 percent who have blocked or unfriended anyone on Facebook or social media because of their political views; And 14 percent say they play an online multiplayer video game like Fortnite.

And asked how old is a child under 18 years old enough to have their own smartphone, 42 percent responding 15 years and older; 40 percent say age 12 to 14; and 11 percent say age 11 and younger.

The NBC / WSJ survey was conducted March 23-27 in 1,000 adults – nearly half reached by cell phone – and it has a total plus margin of minus 3.1 percentage points.

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