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A Foolish Take: 39% of Americans Don't Think Facebook Is a Responsible Company

By Leo Sun - Mar 26, 2018 at 12:00PM

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Americans are losing patience with the social network.

Facebook ( FB -1.14% ) is the world's largest social network, but many Americans don't consider it a responsible company, according to a recent Digital Citizens Alliance survey.

The survey of 925 Americans, conducted March 15-20, found that 39% believed that Facebook was "not a responsible company," since it prioritized generating profits over doing "the right thing."

Pie chart showing whether respondents believe Facebook is a responsible company

Data source: Digital Citizens Alliance. Chart by author.

The survey also found that 61% of respondents believed that "Facebook has damaged American politics and made it more negative by enabling manipulation and falsehoods that polarize people."

Last year, Facebook was implicated in spreading fake news articles -- some of which were promoted by Russian agencies -- to millions of users during the 2016 election.

Recently, it was revealed that Facebook's lax app policies resulted in the data of about 50 million people being harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a data firm hired by the Trump campaign. That resulted in a fierce public backlash, and now the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company's privacy practices.

Facebook stated that it would change its policies to counter these breaches of trust, but it's unclear if it can regain users' confidence.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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