Social media operators face a conundrum dealing with content labeled satire, which may also be harmful misinformation. — © AFP
Are people growing tired of social media, or are the concerns over online privacy hitting home? There are some trends that suggest this is the case. But what would happen if there was a mass exodus from social media platforms?
A survey from VPNOverview.com into the UK found that 43 percent of Facebook users are considering leaving the platform or have considered doing so in the past year. The data for the study was drawn from Statista. The survey also considers other platforms and the potential exit rates, although the reasons for people seeking to exit are not detailed (and these are likely to be varied).
What would be the impact of this? For Facebook there would be a loss of revenue. However, even if four in ten Facebook users quit, the social media giant would still have more users than Instagram (24.4 million UK users) or Twitter (13.7 million UK users). In 2021, Facebook suffered several outages and also rebranded its parent company as ‘Meta’.
However, considering that Facebook has 44.8 million daily active users in the UK, if all 43 percent of users (19.26 million people) each decided to quit, Facebook be left with 25.53 million users. That would put Facebook three other social networks based on their current number of daily active users: YouTube, which has 39 million, WhatsApp, which has 30 million, and LinkedIn, which has 27.5 million.
In terms of other social media platforms and the inclination to quit or to stay among users, the data reveals:
Tumblr has the second-highest percentage of users who wish to take a break from the platform. The site has a total of 9.5 million users, while 39 percent (3.7 million) have considered leaving. If this happened, this would leave 5.79 million users.
Taking third place on the ‘digital detox’ list is Snapchat with 37 percent (6.91 million) of its users thinking about leaving the app. As a result, its user count of 18.7 million would drop to 11.78 million.
Twitter currently has around 13.7 million users, and a total of 31 percent (4.24 million) are looking to take a break from the app – the fourth-highest percentage in the study, which would leave Twitter with 9.45 million UK users.
Following fifth is TikTok, with an estimated 3.7 million users on the platform, 30 percent of which are looking to take a detox, which equates to 1.11 million people.
Twitter Launches Election Integrity Features Ahead of US Midterms
The US midterms are coming up, and Twitter’s working to get ahead of any potential misuse of its platform to spread misinformation around the candidates, with a range of improved election integrity features, as well as new, curated election info hubs to help boost credible updates.
First off, Twitter’s activating enforcement of its Civic Integrity Policy, giving it more capacity to limit the spread of misleading tweets.
As per Twitter:
“The Civic Integrity Policy covers the most common types of harmful misleading information about elections and civic events, such as: claims about how to participate in a civic process like how to vote, misleading content intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in the election, and misleading claims intended to undermine public confidence in an election – including false information about the outcome of the election. Tweets with this content may be labeled with links to credible information or helpful context, and Twitter will not recommend or amplify this content in areas of the product where Twitter makes recommendations.”
Twitter launched a new set of tweet labels last November, which include additional notes on why the tweet has been labeled.
Those add-on tags have proven to be effective in limiting the spread of false information, with Twitter reporting its updated label formats increased ‘Find out more’ click-through rates by 17% (meaning more people were clicking labels to read debunking content), while they also led to notable decreases in engagement with labeled Tweets.
Twitter’s also bringing back its ‘prebunks’ to further limit the spread of misleading reports.
Prebunks aim to provide context on potentially misleading election trends, limiting false reportage about the same.
“Over the coming months, we’ll place prompts directly on people’s timelines in the US and in Search when people type related terms, phrases, or hashtags.”
Twitter’s also launching new election info hubs in Explore, with updates curated by Twitter’s team, along with its labels on candidate profiles to make it clear who they are and what position they’re running for.
Twitter will also be promoting media literacy tips on @TwitterSafety, to help users educate themselves on ways to avoid misinformation.
The combination of initiatives should help to limit the spread of misinfo around the polls, and keep Twitter users informed. Which is important, because while Twitter’s audience is only small, in comparison to other social apps, Twitter is the home of real time news and updates, which means that much of the news that’s initially shared on Twitter then gets aggregated to other platforms as a result.
Many of the most passionate, active news followers stay up to date via tweet, and if Twitter can ensure that these people are not receiving incorrect info to begin with, that can actually have a big impact on the broader news ecosystem.
Which is why all of these elements are more important than, on the surface, they may seem.
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