It's not surprising that recent online privacy issues are leading people to leave their social media profiles behind. What is surprising, however, is that 40% of people surveyed by public relations firm Edelman have deactivated at least one social media account in the last year.

“We learned that there is a serious lack of confidence in social media in all regions of the world," Edelman CEO Richard Edelman told CNBC. "This is a cry from the heart; people are scared. They are outraged about the violation of their privacy, and uncertain about the truth because of the plague of fake news.”

Edelman polled 9,000 people from all over the world.

The survey also found that 70% think businesses and advertisers should put pressure on social media websites to address issues like fake news and offensive content. And 62% of respondents want more regulation on social media networks.

What this means for entrepreneurs and small businesses is that people are not getting their content from the ways we are so used to. While social media remains a major marketing tool, it's important to find out where your customers are spending their time online and finding new ways to engage with them. It may take a bit of creativity and time, but such is the case with most instances of digital marketing.

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