Social Media Survey: Regulation Not the Answer

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are used by millions around the world. The majority of people use these sites just to connect with friends and share information on a variety of topics. But lately, some people have been using these sites to organize illegal activities, such as a flash mob that recently robbed a 7-11 store in Maryland and the destructive riots in London last month. Some feel that social media use should be regulated so as to avoid these incidents, but others feel that would be a gross misuse of power.

social media

Social Media Use

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 36.6% of respondents said they use social media multiple times per day. 24.1% said they use it daily, 9.5% said they use it regularly, but less than once per day, 15.7% said they use it rarely, and only 14.2% said they never use it.

The most popular site among respondents was Facebook, which is used by 81.6% of respondents. 41% use YouTube, 33.6% use Twitter, 11.9% use LinkedIn, and 3.5% use Foursquare. And the number of social media sites continues to grow.

Government Intervention

So when use of these sites goes from harmless to unlawful, should the government step in? 27.6% of respondents said that governments should not be able to regulate these sites at all. 44% said they should be able to regulate social media in extreme and rare circumstances, like when public safety is threatened. And 10.9% said governments should have the ability to limit access to these sites and even shut them down if necessary.

Privacy Issues

Privacy is another important issue in regards to social media. Should governments have access to private information from social media sites? 44% of respondents said that social media users should have a complete right to privacy. 33.8% said that social media users should have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to certain information they wish not to share, such as private messages, full names, and location information. And 11.2% said that social media users should have no expectation of privacy.

Social media has changed the way many people communicate, making it easier for people to connect with others around the world and in their own communities. Unfortunately, some people are abusing this power, but is regulation really the answer?

Photo Credit: Social Media Prism – Germany V2.0 from Flickr

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.