By: Taylor Soper
It’s been a rough few years for Facebook and the company’s brand reputation has taken a serious beating as a result.
The new Axios Harris Poll 100 surveyed U.S. adults about their views on corporate reputation of the 100 “most visible” U.S. companies.
Facebook has lagged behind other tech giants for several years, but fell hard in the past year from around 50th to No. 94.
Amazon ranked No. 2; Samsung at No. 7; Microsoft at No. 9; Netflix at No. 24; Apple at No. 32; Google at No. 41; Tesla at No. 42; Uber at No. 78; and Twitter at No. 89, among other tech companies.
Facebook’s sinking reputation is likely a result of numerous controversies related to security, privacy, misinformation, and more that have plagued the social media giant in recent years.
Despite the brand damage, Facebook’s business continues to hum along. Investors haven’t been too spooked — Facebook shares rose more than 8 percent after the company beat analyst expectations for its most recent earnings report.
“Facebook hasn’t suffered too much damage from all of the scrutiny so far — there’s no sign that masses of users are deleting their accounts,” Axios’ Scott Rosenberg reported. “But the reputational damage could become a problem if it starts having an impact on how much time users spend on Facebook and how much they share.”
In a new blog post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today that the company will emphasize encrypted ephemeral messages across its messaging apps.
Facebook was a topic of discussion at an event on Tuesday evening in Seattle featuring New York Times editor Dean Baquet, who talked about how his use of social media has declined over the past year.
“To be frank, I find it dominated by the same voices and I find some of it toxic,” he said.
On the subject of Facebook’s influence on society and specifically elections, Baquet said it’s encouraging that the company is hiring fact-checkers to monitor content on its platform. “Owning up to the fact that they do have a role in disseminating information is a big deal and important,” he said.
Baquet added that society needs to examine the balance between giving up personal information in exchange for benefits, not just on Facebook but with other tech platforms.
“You get a tremendous amount of value from being able to connect with your friends and being able to buy things. It’s more convenient and it’s easier — and you give something up to get that,” Baquet said. “Maybe the country needs to have a debate about that balance.”
Other Seattle-area companies to make the list include Costco (No. 18); Boeing (No. 19); Nintendo (No. 30); Nordstrom (No. 46); Starbucks (No. 59); and T-Mobile (No. 63).