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#DeleteFacebook and the consumer backlash of 2018: How social media fatigue, consumer (mis)trust and privacy concerns shape the new social media reality for consumers
Facebook’s rise to ubiquity over the last decade came to a dramatic halt in March 2018 after a massive data breach, including improper use of consumer data, was revealed, followed by the most significant one-day stock devaluation in recent history. The business model on which Facebook has sustained itself for years had a fatal flaw, and consumers were the ultimate victims — their backlash began swiftly and was categorised online under the #DeleteFacebook hashtag. To assess the impact of said backlash, this paper examines user-generated content (ie tweets) created by consumers in the days immediately following the Cambridge Analytica crisis. This paper will provide insight into the emergent themes surrounding this brand crisis for Facebook and how consumers wish to move forward in their interactions with the platform. The study uses textual analytics to identify topics and extract meanings contained in an unstructured textual dataset composed of Twitter data. Themes surrounding privacy, fear of missing out, helpfulness, and account deactivation emerged from the analysis. Managerial implications for advertisers are presented.
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Laura F. Bright is an Associate Professor of Media Analytics at the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations. Her research focuses on social media addiction and fatigue, Big Data and analytics, personalised advertising and digital privacy, and her work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She has spent over a decade working in the interactive advertising business and supports various companies and organisations to optimise their digital presence.
Gary B. Wilcox is the John A. Beck Centennial Professor in Communication at the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations. He is also an associated faculty in the Department of Statistics & Data Sciences and the Center for Health Communication at UT Austin. Dr Wilcox holds a PhD from Michigan State University and two degrees from UT Austin. His recent research interests include unstructured data analysis, social media analytic models and advertising’s effects on alcohol products and brands.
Hayley Rodriguez is a recent MA graduate from the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests include social media, digital marketing and data analytics. She also received her undergraduate degree from UT Austin.