The Average Social Media Privacy
Policy Takes an Hour to Read
Privacy Policies vs. Historical Texts and Literary Works
Let’s face it: privacy policies are unreasonably long, and unless you enjoy combing through thousands of words of difficult-to-understand, cryptic jargon, you probably don’t have the time or energy to read through them all.
Up until recently, it wasn’t that big of a deal to not read privacy policies. But as we’ve seen TikTok privacy problems and Facebook privacy disputes arise over the years, it’s clear that Americans are too quick to accept.
To see how long it would take you to read privacy policies from top tech and social media companies, we compared them to the average amount of time it would take someone to read some iconic historical and literary works (we’re talking the US Constitution, Communist Manifesto, Magna Carta, etc.).
- The Magna Carta takes about 15 mins to read. Instagram, Apple, and Facebook’s privacy policies each take over 17 mins to read.
Here’s What Else We Found
- All but two privacy policies (Instagram and Twitter) require a 10th-grade reading comprehension level or higher. Ironically, most companies advertise their platforms as 13+, which is 2–3 years younger than someone in 10th grade.
Here’s How We Got Our Numbers
We used information from Word Counter Plus Plugin and WEBFX to obtain the word count and Flesch-Kincaid Reading ease and grade level standard for the following top tech companies and social media apps:
- Articles of Confederation
- Christopher Columbus’s discovery letter to Luis De Sant Angel
- “Day of Infamy speech”
- Emancipation Proclamation
- George Washington’s farewell address
- John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inauguration Address
- Magna Carta
- Mayflower Compact
- The Art of War
- The Communist Manifesto
- The Declaration of Independence
- “The Gettysburg Address”
- “The Star-Spangled Banner”
- The United States Constitution