There’s many groups whose interest is in keeping people “unsafe”. I don’t doubt that these groups can pull strings and get the media to say whatever they want. For most people, convenience and inertia are king, not freedom or privacy or security. If people prioritized security above convenience, nobody would be using windows on their desktop. If they valued privacy, they would not use social media or smart phones. Some people even have apps that let their friends track where they are.
Even if they find the data collection google does unnerving, they appreciate the convenience given to them by google and wont be willing to give it up. They don’t care if Netflix records what they watch. I bet most people also would actually like “the internet” to have less freedom than it does now to make it fit their definition of “safe” more. People like centralization. The number websites which most traffic comes from has been rapidly shrinking over the years.
Unless SAFE is actually more convenient than the clearnet, the vast majority wont transition. If it’s not just as fast, or if the media demonizes it, or if all of the apps they usually use aren’t on it, or if it requires any research at all, SAFE will just not become mainstream. Even then, there’s social and corporate inertia. Individuals trying to convince their mom are insignificant.