The Meltwater Group uses social media to uncover the truth behind the deterioration of trust in the United Kingdom.

London, UK — 12 April, 2012– The Meltwater Group, one of the world’s leading digital media intelligence companies, today announced the findings of a social media focused piece of research into the loss of trust in the United Kingdom. Using its social media intelligence and marketing solution, Meltwater Buzz, the company analysed online conversations over a six month period to gain insight into how levels of trust compare when considering; the UK economy, Government, media and legal system.

An infographic was produced using data from Meltwater Buzz to depict the findings. Please click here to view it.

The Meltwater research uncovered that only 23% of the UK public has trust in their country. The economy dominated online conversations in relation to trust, taking 53% of the overall online buzz. The negative sentiment of these conversations highlighted the current views of online audiences, with 87% expressing an overall lack of trust in the economy. The main focus of those conversations was banks, with a vast amount of online negativity towards banker’s bonuses and a general mistrust in how banks manage money.

The erosion of trust in the UK economy stems from a succession of events that have occurred in the past six months;

  • UK unemployment passing the £1 million mark for the first time since 1986
  • Government debt rising above £1 trillion
  • UK Economy shrinking by 0.2% in last 3 months of 2011
  • Poorly managed banks and large bankers bonuses, a situation which resulted in RBS former CEO, Fred Goodwin, losing his knighthood

Meltwater’s research revealed that the Government was the second most discussed topic in the UK, with 78% having lost trust in it. A wide variety of issues became apparent in association to the Government and the broad themes that emerged were negativity in relation to the financial crisis, unemployment and pension funds. The results also reflected the public’s anxiety and frustration with the potential outcomes of the 2012 Budget that was announced 2 months later. Many of the issues that the United Kingdom is facing seem to be fuelling an overall anger towards the Government. During a speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research, Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Leeds West MP, said that “Earning people’s trust that we will be responsible custodians of public money is the precondition for gaining the right to be heard on any other issue.”

Events, such as the 2011 London Riots have also triggered a lack of trust in the police force and law enforcement in the UK. The sentiment of discussions around UK Law closely followed those around the Government, with 71% expressing concern and mistrust in the legal system. The key trends that emerged around this topic were talks of lenient sentences and a lack of justice. The police force was particularly scrutinised online in relation to their efforts to control the London Riots.

Surprisingly, the media was the least talked about issue in association to trust with only 7%, despite the recent News of the World hacking scandal and the revelation of recent foul play by journalists and newspapers. The small number of conversations around the media could be a result of the influence technology is having on the media landscape. Fewer people are relying on traditional methods to obtain the latest news, but alternatively focusing on digital sources, meaning there are potentially fewer public concerns with the accuracy of traditional media content. The results of Meltwater’s research clearly indicate that online audiences are far more preoccupied with trust issues relating to the UK economy and Government, than with the media.

Considering the turbulent UK economic climate, the UK Government is under increasing pressure to resolve issues in the country. A lack of trust from the public is inevitable in light of recent events with the media, police force and banks. Understanding public opinion is key when addressing these matters. More people are going online to voice their opinions and debate on these types of issues, and often information gathered from social media platforms can be overlooked, when in fact it can provide an abundance of insight into the public’s opinion and where current issues lie.”said Niklas de Besche, Executive Director, Meltwater Buzz (part of Meltwater Group).

The research was conducted by monitoring online conversations on over 200 million sources across the social web, including blogs, microblogs (such as Twitter), social networks, forums and other social media sites. Meltwater Buzz provides actionable information from analytics; to gain insight into underlying themes and sentiment, as well as the level of online buzz. These results were compiled into an infographic, to clearly illustrate the current attitudes towards trust in the United Kingdom.


About The Meltwater Group

The Meltwater Group is a privately held software company founded in Norway in 2001, serving more than 20,000 clients through 57 offices located across North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. Meltwater is committed to challenging existing business models by introducing disruptive technologies.The Meltwater Group delivers B2B solutions based on search engine technology, cloud computing and search engine marketing. For more information, please visit

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