While Facebook has endured a number of scandals over the past few years, the fallout and controversy stemming from the Cambridge Analytica saga undoubtedly represents the biggest public relations challenge the social networking giant has ever faced. Speaking to the gravity of the situation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg traveled down to Capitol Hill this week where he fielded pointed questions from lawmakers about data privacy and a range of other issues.
With the outrage surrounding Facebook’s privacy policies reaching a fever pitch over the past few weeks, there has been something of an underground movement calling for users to delete their Facebook account altogether. To this point, you may have seen the DeleteFacebook hashtag pop up on any number of social media platforms in recent weeks, including, ironically enough, on Facebook itself.
While Zuckerberg last week said that the company hasn’t seen a meaningful drop off in cumulative users, a new survey from Creative Strategies claims that 9% of Americans may have deleted their accounts.
The report (via TechPinions) reads in part:
Privacy matters to our panelists. Thirty-six percent said they are very concerned about it and another 41% saying they are somewhat concerned.
Their behavior on Facebook has somewhat changed due to their privacy concerns. Seventeen percent deleted their Facebook app from their phone, 11% deleted from other devices, and 9% deleted their account altogether. These numbers might not worry Facebook too much, but there are less drastic steps users are taking that should be worrying as they directly impact Facebook’s business model.
The 9% figure seems impossibly high as it would mean that of Facebook’s estimated 214 million users in the United States, 19.2 million deleted their account over the past few weeks alone.
Truth be told, we’ll probably have to wait until Facebook’s forthcoming earnings report in order to get a more accurate gauge as to how the ongoing controversy enveloping the company has impacted its user base.