CANADIANS DEPEND ON FACEBOOK BUT DON'T HAVE AFFECTION FOR IT: LEGER & ASSOCIATION FOR CANADIAN STUDIES

Oct 13, 2021

By Jane Brown

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It seems we Canadians have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.

Forty per cent of respondents to an online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies say they have a negative opinion of the social media giant, with half of respondents saying Facebook should be regulated or broken up.

The vast majority of respondents agree Facebook amplifies hate speech, helps spread fake news and damages peoples’ mental health.

At the same time, more than three in four also believe the social network helps them stay connected with their loved ones, with another 50 percent saying Facebook is key to sharing information.

Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque says Canadians maintain a dependence on Facebook but not a strong affection for it, as the platform confronts an urgent corporate image problem.

Last week Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before a United States Senate committee that the company’s products harm children and fuel polarization in the U-S, a claim supported by internal company research leaked to the Wall Street Journal.

An emailed statement from Facebook Canada says it continues make investments that target misinformation and harmful content, also highlighting the platform’s banning of several Canadian hate organizations.

Conducted October 8th to 10th, the online poll surveyed 1,545 Canadians and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

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