People have become accustomed to the idea that social media is a safe place for them to express themselves and connect with others, but a new survey reveals a different reality.
A survey of nearly 6,000 people conducted by social media platform InstaSurvey has revealed that only 1 in 3 people are “very” or “somewhat” aware of the ways that they can be monitored and monitored.
In addition, a whopping 32 percent of people surveyed said they have “little” or no trust in social media platforms and 27 percent said they do not trust them.
“Most of us do not have any trust in these platforms because we know they can spy on us,” said Lauren Lutz, a self-employed writer from Seattle, Washington.
“But when we use them, we often unwittingly give them permission to do so.”
The study, which was conducted by Instasurvey on behalf of the company ProPublica, surveyed 6,078 people between the ages of 18 and 64 and was conducted using an online panel of 3,000 respondents.
The results are below.
More than half of the respondents were unaware of the types of tools and apps they were using, and half were unaware that their accounts were being monitored.
Among the people surveyed, the majority had never used a social media application that they had no idea they were being tracked by.
“We know that people have been following us for years and years, but we don’t have a whole lot to go on,” said Emily Pritchett, a writer from Chicago, Illinois, who was surveyed as part of the project.
“People don’t really know the risks, or they think they’re just being cautious and that the social media companies aren’t monitoring their accounts or sharing personal information with their friends.
That’s not the case.”
More than one in five respondents admitted to not knowing they were monitored on social media.
The majority of respondents reported that their friends had no way to know if they were a target of a government spy agency or private contractor, but more than half reported that they were aware of a spyware program that was being used to spy on them.
A total of 2,939 people said they had used Instagram or Snapchat, a third of whom reported having followed at least one person, but only 9 percent had seen a video that was allegedly shot by a government agency or contractor.
The study found that more than two-thirds of the people who were not aware of social media spying had previously reported that it had happened to them.
More than half said they thought they had not been targeted, while the majority said they believed they had been.
“I am very concerned that these companies are getting their hands on our data, and I am afraid they will do it without any due process,” said Lisa Lutz of Seattle, who is currently writing a book about social media surveillance.
“The fear is not just that they will collect all of your information without a warrant, but that they’ll do it with complete disregard for your privacy.”
A whopping 37 percent of respondents said they were unsure if they had received a threat in the last month.
“My husband and I are both self-published authors, and we were surprised to learn that we have been followed on Instagram and Snapchat,” said Pritches husband, David Lutz.
“We were afraid that our pictures might be used to identify us or to track us down, and even more so that our information might be sent to the government.”
More people reported that social network services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google were used for nefarious purposes, such as to collect personal information about them.
The survey revealed that most of those who use social media to stay in touch with friends reported that the services were used to stalk and harass them, although less than half actually reported being stalked.
“They don’t seem to be using them as a way to get information,” said Megan Fierman, a freelance writer from New York, who has been following two people from her own experience.
“I know that I was stalked on Twitter, and it wasn’t that my husband and wife were stalking me.”
Fierman said that she is currently working on a book project about social security surveillance.
“The people that are tracking you and keeping tabs on you are the ones that need to be held accountable,” she said.
“It’s not that they’re doing it to harass you or do something nefarious.
It’s to find out who you are, who your friends are, what you’re doing online, and what your interests are.”
More importantly, however, the survey also found that nearly a third reported that personal information was being collected on their social media accounts.
“When I say personal information, I’m not talking about my name, address, or social security number.
I’m talking about something that has been collected from my Facebook