Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"Americans have been playing close attention to story after story involving Facebook's failure to protect our elections from foreign interference, and now its failure to protect our personal data," says Factual Democracy Project founder Melissa Ryan. (Photo: sue seecof/flickr/cc)

"Americans have been playing close attention to story after story involving Facebook's failure to protect our elections from foreign interference, and now its failure to protect our personal data," says Factual Democracy Project founder Melissa Ryan. (Photo: sue seecof/flickr/cc)

Poll Shows Facebook Popularity Tanking. And People Don't Like Zuckerberg Much Either

New poll shows continued fallout from voter profiling firm Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of personal information of over 50 million Facebook users

Andrea Germanos

The Cambridge Analytica scandal appears to have taken a toll on public opinion of Facebook, as a new poll shows that love for the social media site has tanked in recent weeks.

The new survey (pdf) of 577 registered voters conducted by Public Policy Polling for the Factual Democracy Project (FDP) took place March 23-25—right after the public learned of the massive data breach.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed, it should be noted, said they have a Facebook account.

Thirty percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of Facebook compared to 48 percent who have an unfavorable opinion about it. Twenty-two percent, meanwhile, said they are not sure.

That adds up to a net favorability rating of -18—a drop of 19 points since September (pdf) when FDP last polled for that information. At that time, 37 percent said they had a favorable opinion, and 36 percent said their opinion was unfavorable.

As for Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, just 24 percent expressed a favorable opinion about him, while 35 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Forty-one percent said they are not sure.

Like Zuckerberg, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had a net favorability rating of -11; ten percent said they have a favorable opinion of her and 21 percent had an unfavorable one. The majority—69 percent—said they are not sure of their opinion of her.

The poll also shows that majority—58 percent—had heard about Cambridge Analytica's unauthorized harvesting of some 50 million Facebook users' data, and an even greater percentage—71 percent—think Zuckerberg should have to appear before Congress to explain how that massive breach was able to occur.

Based on what they now know, just 12 percent say they're going to delete their account, and 36 percent said they'll use Facebook less.

"We are watching a historic moment of reckoning unfold in real time," said FDP founder Melissa Ryan. "Americans have been playing close attention to story after story involving Facebook's failure to protect our elections from foreign interference, and now its failure to protect our personal data."

"The stakes for Mark Zuckerberg's testimony are clear from the polling data. If he wants to turn things around at Facebook, it will start in the halls of Congress," Ryan said. 

Zuckerberg has been facing calls to testify before Congress, and, according to media reports this week, is expected to do so.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Utterly Obscene': Just 8 Pfizer and Moderna Investors Became $10 Billion Richer After Omicron Emerged

"Pharma execs and shareholders are making a killing from a crisis they helped to create," said one justice campaigner.

Jon Queally ·


Ilhan Omar Calls Kevin McCarthy 'A Liar and a Coward' for Refusing to Condemn Boebert's Islamophobia

"This is who they are," said the Minnesota Democrat. "And we have to be able to stand up to them. And we have to push them to reckon with the fact their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry."

Jon Queally ·


'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·


Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo