Trust of social media platforms declines

The media stereotypes young people as addicted to their phones. While this may be true for some, social media apps have recently been doing their part in making sure people are spending less time tuned into them.

In February, Snapchat released an update that displeased many users. The update combined what used to be two separate pages into one and took away the alphabetical organization, causing many users to decrease their usage. Celebrity Kylie Jenner confirmed that people were unhappy with Snapchat when she tweeted that she was no longer using the app. According to CNN, following Jenner’s tweet, Snapchat’s stock lost $1.3 billion. 

For the people who were still using snapchat, another scandal would soon lead to the new trend: #deletesnapchat. Snapchat, like many applications, had advertisements playing in between content. One of these ads included a poll asking users, “Would you rather slap Rihanna, or punch Chris Brown?” After seeing the ad, Rihanna took to Instagram to call out Snapchat for promoting domestic violence. Many, including Chelsea Clinton and Chrissy Teigen, tweeted that they were sick of Snapchat and would be joining in to delete it. Following this second incident, TIME reported that Snapchat’s stock dropped again, falling 5 percent. 

Snapchat’s errors led many users to simply switch to Instagram, which features many similar functions. However, Facebook owns Instagram, and Facebook has recently been chastised for its policies on privacy.

Many Facebook users were upset to learn that due to some of Facebook’s privacy settings, Cambridge Analytica accessed the personal data of around 87 million users without their consent in March, according to Associated Press News. Cambridge Analytica used this personal data to identify personalities and influence voters during the 2016 election. This outraged many users, leading people to begin to also #deletefacebook after this scandal. The incident has raised many questions about how social media sites store and share personal information, concerning many that sites can share information without their permission. 

Beginning Monday, Facebook began alerting users still using the site when someone was violating their privacy. There is an available link at the top of the user’s News Feed to help them understand which other third-party apps may have their information. This link also includes information about whether Cambridge Analytica obtained the user’s data.

Just last week, during a time social media has already been under fire for privacy breaches, Grindr has also been accused of sharing personal information. Buzzfeed reported that Grindr has been sharing HIV status, dates users got STD tested, locations and contact information to Apptimize and Localytics. Companies use these two third-party apps analyze and optimize apps. This comes at the same time CNN reported that CVS exposed the HIV status of 6,000 customers. Upon learning the site was sharing this sensitive information, users questioned how seriously Grindr was taking their privacy while promoting itself as the go-to app for healthy hookups and gay culture content. Grindr has promised to stop sharing information according to the Washington Post. However, many people still deleted the app upon learning this, as it was a huge “breach in trust.”

In our modern world, we are all online. Despite how connected we have become, many social media apps have let their users down, causing many people to delete them. With everything online, viral posts make it easy and clear about what users want: change in content and privacy policies. If social media apps continue to ignore their users, the numbers will continue dropping. As all time periods do, could the age of social media already be coming to an end?