Finance Consumer Australians trust ‘toxic’ Facebook even less than the big banks
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Australians trust ‘toxic’ Facebook even less than the big banks

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New Zealand's privacy commissioner has slammed Facebook over livestreaming of disturbing content. Photo: Simon Rankin
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Almost half of Australians don’t trust Facebook, making it the least-trusted media brand, with consumers even admitting to having more faith in the ethics of the big four banks.

Young Australians distrust social media the most – 68 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds, and 53 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds, according to a new Roy Morgan survey.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said Facebook was the most mistrusted media brand in Australia.

In fact, she said, Facebook is “more toxic even than the banking industry”, based on net trust data.

“Distrust is where our deepest fears, pain, and betrayal surface – the shock of discovering we were foolish to trust too much,” Ms Levine said.

“Nowhere is that sense of betrayal more profound than in our media brands.

“Australians are feeling the shock of discovering they were foolish to trust the global platforms too much.”

This comes two months after the Delete Facebook movement, where users encouraged each other to delete their Facebook profiles following revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s illicit use of data to influence the 2016 US presidential elections.

Ms Levine said Australians reported that distrust was driven by fake news, bias, manipulation of the truth, the push of commercial or political agenda, sensationalised news and too much advertising.

Meanwhile, those surveyed said trust was based on lack of bias, impartiality, quality journalism and ethics.

The Media Net Trust Survey found the ABC is the country’s most trusted media organisation. Just 9 per cent of Australians say they don’t trust the national broadcaster.

SBS is Australia’s second most trusted media brand, followed by Fairfax.

Social media trusted less than all other media (net trust)

  • Social media – minus 42 per cent
  • Television – minus 16 per cent
  • Newspapers – minus 13 per cent
  • Internet – minus 7 per cent
  • Magazines – minus 4 per cent
  • Radio – minus 2 per cent

Note: Net trust score = trust – distrust

Why trust matters for business

  • Distrust causes audience churn
  • Reduces audience engagement
  • Limits advertiser spend
  • The tipping point for reputational damage
  • Unsustainable future

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