Positive (Tech) News in Troubling Times
The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 was a turning point for many skeptical technology users who were already distrustful of social media following the 2016 US presidential election. In the years since the Cambridge Analytica affair came to light, user privacy and distrust in big tech – and digital marketing – has become a major talking point in every corner of the media landscape.
It’s easy to assume that trust in technology companies has reached an all-time low, but The Verge’s recent Tech Survey 2020 reveals a different story. Of the more than 1,100 respondents the online magazine queried, a healthy percentage held positive views of Google, Amazon, and other tech giants.
Ninety-one per cent of respondents said they viewed Amazon favourably with another 90 per cent expressing positive views of both Google and YouTube. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter were less revered, attracting positive views from 72, 71, and 61 per cent of respondents, respectively.
Just four per cent of respondents said Google had a negative impact on society, compared with 72 per cent who said its impact was positive and 24 per cent who said it was neutral. Amazon’s impact was deemed positive by 70 percent, neutral by 25 per cent, and negative by 5 per cent.
Further, 85 per cent of respondents said they would be disappointed if Google suddenly disappeared, the highest among all companies. Eighty-one per cent said they’d be disappointed if Amazon disappeared, along with 76 per cent for YouTube. Just 55 per cent and 43 per cent said they’d be disappointed to see Facebook and Instagram vanish.
In other words, although tech companies must work to alleviate consumer doubts around privacy, the platforms that host the majority of digital marketing efforts are still viewed positively by the public.
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