Voters Distrust Twitter More Than Facebook, Think Social Media Has Made World a Worse Place: Poll

Registered voters in the U.S. distrust Twitter more than they distrust Facebook, but have even less trust in TikTok, an exclusive Newsweek poll conducted by London-based polling firm Redfield & Wilton Strategies showed.

A plurality of 45 percent of respondents said that they were closer to the view that "social media has made the world a worse place," in a survey conducted online for Newsweek from October 17-18, with 3,150 registered voters in the U.S.

Fourty two percent said that they trust none of the seven social media platforms listed in the survey—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok and Reddit.

Social media has become a key political battleground, and technology companies have struggled to control the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories on their platforms. This trust has been further eroded by a multitude of data breaches and hacks.

Facebook has arguably come under the most scrutiny of all the social networks, partly because Cambridge Analytica reportedly used ads delivered through the site to try to deter 3.5 million Black Americans from voting in the 2016 election, on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Cambridge Analytica closed down in 2018 amid reports that it had acquired the data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their consent—37 million more than Facebook had first claimed, after multiple denials—and used it to build psychological profiles of potential voters, and then tailored political ads to them.

Newsweek's poll found that Facebook was both the most trusted social media platform (35 percent) and the most distrusted social media platform (49 percent.)

That leaves it with a net score of -14 percent, which means the people that distrust Facebook outnumber those who do trust the social network.

Fifteen percent of respondents said that they trust Twitter and 40 percent said that they distrust the platform, leaving it with a net score of -25 percent.

However, that was eclipsed by TikTok, which 9 percent of respondents said they trust, compared to the 38 percent who said they do not trust the platform. This leaves it with a net score of -29 percent, the lowest of all of the social media platforms listed in the survey.

The poll found that voters also distrust Snapchat and Reddit more than they distrust Facebook.

Twelve percent said they trust Snapchat and 30 percent said they distrust the platform, giving it a net score of -18 percent, while 6 percent said they trust Reddit—the lowest trust score in the survey—compared to 23 percent of respondents who said they do not trust the platform, giving it a net score of -17 percent.

LinkedIn's net score of -8 percent was the least negative, followed by Instagram with -10 percent, despite the fact it is owned by Facebook. Twelve percent said they trust LinkedIn, compared to 20 percent who said they distrust it, while 22 percent of respondents said they trust Instagram, compared to 32 percent who distrust it.

Thirteen percent of respondents said they do not distrust any of the listed social media platforms, while 12 percent said they are closer to the view that "social media has made the world a better place," and 29 percent are closer to the view that "social media has made the world neither a better nor worse place."

twitter logo smartphone
In this photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile phone with President Trump's Twitter page shown in the background on May 27, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. A Newsweek poll has found that U.S. voters distrust Twitter more than they distrust Facebook. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images