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Exclusive poll: Facebook favorability plunges

An exclusive poll for Axios by SurveyMonkey found that Facebook's favorability has plunged in the last five months.

Data: SurveyMonkey polls conducted March 21–23, 2018 and Oct. 23–26, 2017. Poll Methodology.; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The big picture: In the Axios/SurveyMonkey poll comparing views in October with last week (2,878 adults in the U.S.; error estimate: 2.5 points), Facebook's already low net favorability (favorable minus unfavorable) dropped twice as much as the other tech giants.

  • Facebook fell 28 points, compared with 13 for Amazon, 12 for Google, 10 for Apple and seven for Twitter. Uber, Tesla and Lyft ticked up, bucking the trend.
  • Facebook's raw favorability rating was 48% last week, down from 61% in October.
  • Google's latest raw favorability was 78%, Amazon's was 75%, Apple's was 61% and Twitter's was 31%.
  • SurveyMonkey points out: "In October, Facebook had more positive than negative ratings by about 2-1; now it’s ... 48% favorable, 43% unfavorable."

Key stat: The negative turn for Facebook is particularly large among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, with favorable ratings falling 16 points, from 67% to 51%. SurveyMonkey found more modest fall-offs among Republicans and GOP-leaners (10 points) and pure independents (eight points).

But, but, but: The mistrust is focused on the companies, not on technology. The vast majority of those polled (72%) still say tech has a positive effect on society.

Our thought bubble: The poll shows a huge drop for Facebook (and Twitter and Google). But remember these are free services. People talk a lot about leaving, but we suspect most want what these companies are offering. 

  • We'll be watching to see if these drops in favorability mean fewer users (like if #deletefacebook gains traction).

Be smart: If Facebook were a political candidate, this kind of swing in public opinion would provoke a swift, massive response. For Facebook, that process has just begun.

Methodology: This new Axios/SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted March 21-23, 2018 among 2,878 adults in the United States. The modeled error estimate is 2.5 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. Crosstabs available here.