Social media safety hit a new low in public perception. Can platforms reverse trend?

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Pinterest was seen as the safest social media platform in the US last year, though the percentage of users who held that view declined from 2020 (51% versus 41%), according to our “US Digital Trust Benchmark 2022” report. Meanwhile, Facebook was where the lowest percentage of users felt safe, down to just 26% in 2022.

Beyond the chart: Every social network we studied saw double-digit declines in the share of US users who felt safe participating or posting on its platform.

Some platforms are addressing the safety issue. Meta has asked regulators worldwide to make social media safer through law, especially for teens. In that vein, TikTok plans to let creators restrict their videos to adult audiences.

On the other hand, Twitter (which has been the subject of many brand safety concerns in the past few months) disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, which was founded in 2016 to “address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other problems on the platform,” according to NPR.

As platforms choose their sides on the safety issue, will consumer trust follow suit?

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Methodology: Insider Intelligence surveyed 2,225 social media users in the US during May 20-June 9, 2022, to gauge how perceptions of digital trustworthiness differ between nine of the largest social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. The respondents were selected to align with the US population on the criteria of age (ages 18-76), gender, household income, and race. The survey was fielded by a third-party sample provider. Data has a margin of error of +/-2.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence interval.

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