An Examination of Consumers' Social Media Trust In the Wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Edwards, Joseph Lincoln
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The purpose of this study is to explore and track changes in consumer trust on Facebook during the company's ongoing scandal. This study examines the scandal between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica with the data mining of 87 million Facebook consumers. The hypothesis of this study states as follows: The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal will result in little to no harm or damage to Facebooks reputation and consumers will continue to use the platform knowing that their data is being taken. Surveys asking consumers about their Facebook profiles and their awareness if their data privacy settings were used and data change was tracked after 4 months. The conclusion has been made that after the scandal broke, the decrease in the user rate of Facebook was so small that it will make little to no noticeable damage to Facebook's profits or reputation that affects the user rate of the platform. There are multiple factors contributing to the conclusion found. As the majority of the world population is increasing, so is the average age of Facebook consumers. This corelates with the hypothesis that the older that the age of the user is, the less affected they are by the scandal. This is due to the fact that with age and investment in the platform, older users are more likely to continue using the media platform. The younger the participant, the easier it is to switch to a new form of media. This is because younger users have been surrounded by technology more frequently and are more likely to partake in first movers' advantage.