Consumer Reports: Impact of Facebook scandals on user behavior

ByMichael Finney and Justin Mendoza via KGO logo
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Consumer Reports reveals new survey results looking at how scandals are impacting user behavior on social media.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Top executives from social media platforms were on Capitol Hill, getting grilled once again, in the wake of several recent scandals, including one that may have compromised the personal data of most of Facebook's two billion users. Is that changing the way people use the social network? Consumer Reports reveals new survey results looking at how these scandals are impacting users behavior on social media.

If months of reading about deceitful quiz apps, political meddling by Russian bots, and unchecked data collection have you rethinking your relationship with Facebook, you are not alone.

RELATED: Facebook users react to Cambridge Analytica scandal

A recent Consumer Reports survey finds that seven out of ten Facebook users changed their behavior after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. More than one in three became more cautious about their posts, revised privacy settings, and turned off location tracking.

Still concerned about Facebook collecting your data? Consumer Reports recommends you take a few additional steps. "You can turn off location tracking, you can turn off facial recognition, and you can turn on two-factor authentication," said Chris Raymond, Consumer Reports Tech Editor.

That's when your account requests a second bit of information, like a code sent to your phone, before allowing you to log in.

What did the survey find about "Fake News" on Facebook? More than half of users say they read news on Facebook that they initially thought was true... but later realized it was not.

RELATED: Facebook-linked Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy in U.S.

So, with all of these concerns, Consumer Reports' found people are sticking with Facebook for pretty basic reasons--it's the easiest way to stay connected with people. And 32-percent say it's great for remembering a milestone. "It's the best way to remember birthdays!," said Raymond.

What else did Consumer Reports learn? Even with these concerns, people still want Facebook to be free. Well the majority of Facebook users. Nine out of 10 are not willing to pay a fee to stop Facebook from collecting their data.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2018 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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