‘Delete Facebook account’ searches rise 95% in Australia [Infographic]

By @chelean on
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. Reuters/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Web searches to delete Facebook from Australian users jumped 95 percent in March in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a new study. The data breach is estimated to have affected over 311,000 people in the country.

The study, conducted by VPN comparison service Top10VPN.com, shows that a high percentage of Australians are considering deleting their Facebook account. The search term “delete Facebook account” and other similar terms are users’ response to the social media website’s recent data breach scandal, which affected up to 87 million Facebook users.

The average monthly search for “delete Facebook Account” in Australia is 41,370. However, come March, the search rose to 80,750, about 95 percent hike. Melbournites gave the biggest indication that they wanted out of the social media platform, with the search terms jumping by 129 percent. Sydneysiders followed with 115 percent upsurge, and then by Canberrans by 112 percent.

10 Australian cities with the biggest jump in searches in March 2018 and the preceding months using the search term ‘delete Facebook account’ and closely related search terms 10 Australian cities with the biggest jump in searches in March 2018 and the preceding months using the search term ‘delete Facebook account’ and closely related search terms  Top10VPN

On a global scale, Australia is among the top countries looking to delete their Facebook account, as indicated by the increased number of web searches on the term. It follows Canada (175 percent), United States (132 percent), United Kingdom (101 percent) and New Zealand (103 percent).

The study included 255 locations across 17 countries. According to Top10VPN, it showed that Facebook users in English-speaking countries are actively looking to quit the social media giant. This is evidenced by the top 5 countries mentioned above.

On the other hand, countries whose primary languages are not English seem far less concerned about leaving Facebook. The Philippines is the second most affected country (1.18 million users) behind the United States (70.63 million users), and yet the number of people searching the aforementioned term only increased by 22 percent. Indonesia, the third largest (1.1 million), even decreased by 8 percent. Mexican and Brazilian Facebook users were barely concerned at all (6 percent and 3 percent respectively).

“The Cambridge Analytica data breach has confirmed the long-held suspicions of many social media users that their personal data is being used for various means without their explicit consent,” Simon Migliano, head of research at Top10VPN, said. “The backlash against what many would consider an egregious use of powers was immediate — with thousands of users in impacted countries swiftly looking to distance themselves from data-hungry sites like Facebook. The rocketing of search terms like ‘delete Facebook account’ is evidence of a digital uprising of sorts against what has become the accepted norm in the last decade.

“Certain Australian cities were especially quick to distance themselves — the largest surges in search terms notably centred on Australia’s largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney.”

Infographic of countries with most users affected by the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data bridge and the increase of the users' search of the term 'delete Facebook account' Infographic of countries with most users affected by the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data bridge and the increase of the users' search of the term 'delete Facebook account'  Top10VPN

The infographic shows the 10 countries with the most Facebook users whose data was shared without their consent.

Facebook anticipates more data breaches

Meanwhile, Facebook has released its quarterly report, and it looks like the Cambridge Analytica data breach isn’t the last one to haunt the company. A section on its filing published on Thursday states that it is expecting to discover more incidents of misuse of data and other activities by third parties.

Facebook reported in its financial results a quarterly revenue of US$11.97 billion (AU$15.80 billion), earning per share of US$1.69 (AU$2.23). Despite the PR nightmare that it has endured in the past month, Mark Zuckerberg’s company didn’t seem to be financially affected at all.

Article via press release sent for consideration.

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