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Americans’ complicated feelings about social media in an era of privacy concerns

“Amid public concerns over Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data and a subsequent movement to encourage users to abandon Facebook, there is a renewed focus on how social media companies collect personal information and make it available to marketers. Pew Research Center has studied the spread and impact of social media since 2005, when just 5% of American adults used the platforms. The trends tracked by our data tell a complex story that is full of conflicting pressures. On one hand, the rapid growth of the platforms is testimony to their appeal to online Americans. On the other, this widespread use has been accompanied by rising user concerns about privacy and social media firms’ capacity to protect their data. All this adds up to a mixed picture about how Americans feel about social media. Here are some of the dynamics…”

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