Britons plan mass exodus from social media following Cambridge Analytica scandal
More than 50% of British residents intend to change the way in which they use social media following the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year.
As many as 3.3m Brits plan to go "off grid" completely, according to research by Virtual Private Network comparison service Top10VPN.com, as a result of the high-profile data breach that saw up to 87m Facebook users have their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
Over half of Brits, 52%, said they now trust the company less than they had at the same time a year earlier and 24.7% plan to spend less time on social media sites or remove some personal information.
Among the younger generation of 16-24 year olds, the proportion of those who intend to change how they interact with social sites rises considerably, to 64.9%.
While Facebook tops the list of companies that has seen a drop-off in trust, the likes of Twitter and Google were also hit by the wide-ranging loss of faith.
Nearly a quarter of Google users, or 24%, admitted they trust the company less with their private data, while 22.3% of Twitter and 18.7% of Microsoft users stated the same thing.
Interestingly, WhatsApp has seen less of a drop-off at 19.9%, despite being owned by Facebook.
Simon Migliano, head of research at Top10VPN.com, said "As the well-worn saying goes, it takes years to build trust but only seconds to destroy it. The social media giant might still be basking in the glow of its robust first quarter results, but clearly the reputational fallout from the Cambridge Analytica breach isn't going to be fixed overnight."
"As this barometer goes to show, the days of blindly placing trust in companies to keep our best interests at heart are increasingly becoming a thing of the past," he concluded.