Facebook, which was recently rebranded as “Meta,” was rated the worst company of the year, according to a recent survey. The study was performed by the Yahoo Finance home page at the beginning of December when 1,541responded to the open-ended questions. The result comes with no surprise after a year of scandals and the damaged reputation of Facebook.
Why is Facebook the worst company?
Facebook went through many scandals in the past year. It’s been under the antitrust microscope and faced allegations from a whistleblower and old employee, claiming that the company ignored safety issues for the sake of growth. Facebook has also been blamed for spreading misinformation online.
The open-ended survey was posted on Yahoo Finance on the 4th and the 5th of December and many company names were submitted. Facebook received 8% of the write-in vote.
What is especially interesting about Facebook is just how many and varied reasons people dislike it. It received 50% more votes than the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which takes second place in the most disliked company ranking.
Many respondents were upset with Facebook’s effects on children and young people, stating its photo-sharing app Instagram and its negative effects on mental health. Internal documents have revealed the company knew Instagram made teenagers and especially girls feel worse about their physical appearance but didn’t address the problem to sustain its growth.
Can Facebook redeem itself?
Around 30% of the Yahoo Finance audience that participated in the survey responded that Facebook could redeem itself and fix its reputation.
One respondent said Facebook could redeem itself by accepting and apologizing for its mistakes and donating a big chunk of its revenues to charities.
Another way it could redeem itself, for the angry investors in the survey, would be to grow its stock price, apparently. The stock is up 22% year-to-date, but lagging the S&P 500 and down around 13% from its September high.
Was the rebrand to Meta a way of cleaning the name?
A new report from The Harris Poll, a company that monitors brand trust, states that Facebook’s rebrand to Meta had the exact opposite effect of what a rebrand is meant to have,
According to their findings, Facebook’s trust score started to fall from 16% once the stories from the whistleblower Haugen and leaked documents blew the internet. The trust score hit a low of 5.8% in October, which was in the week Haugen testified before Congress.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the rebrand had nothing to do with the onslaught of bad press resulting from Haugen’s leaked documents. Meta has emphasized its rebrand is designed to re-position it as a “metaverse company.”
Still, PR experts believe that the rebrand will not help Facebook get a better reputation and perception by the public in a short period of time.