Facebook Crowned 'Worst Company of 2021' by New Survey
Facebook, otherwise known as Meta, has been crowned the worst company of the year, following a turbulent 12 months of controversies, public backlash, and an eventual entire rebrand of the social media giant, according to a survey conducted by Yahoo Finance.
Yahoo Finance every year crowns the best company of the year, with Microsoft taking the top spot for 2021. This year, however, Yahoo Finance also did a "worst company of the year" challenge, with Facebook, now known as Meta, quickly taking the top spot. According to the survey, which polled over 1,000 individuals, Facebook received 50% more votes for the spot compared to Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce platform.
Those surveyed have a "litany of grievances" towards Facebook, including but not limited to concerns over censorship, reports about Instagram's impact on mental health, and privacy. While the survey results are grim and not in the company's favor, 30% of the participants responded positively to whether Facebook could "redeem itself."
Facebook, amid scandals, did rebrand itself to "Meta," marking the start of a new direction for the company, according to its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The new name is meant to be more in line with the goal of building a "Metaverse," an entirely digital world. The rebrand was widely seen as an attempt to distract from scrutiny, and according to some participants in the survey, it worked.
One respondent said Facebook could redeem itself by acknowledging and apologizing for what it did and donating a "sizable amount" of its profits for a foundation to help reverse its harm. While some people saw the Meta rebrand as a cynical attempt to change the conversation... others were excited by the potential of a new direction that could a) be interesting and b) something different from the aging social media model.
Facebook has long been embroiled in public concerns over the privacy of its users. Facebook has notably fought with Apple over changes in iOS and iPadOS that make it harder for companies to track users across other apps and websites.
Facebook has claimed the new change, App Tracking Transparency, would hurt small businesses that rely on advertising to attract new customers. Mark Zuckerberg has gone as far as to say that Facebook's lackluster growth in the last quarter of the year was partly to blame on ATT (App Tracking Transparency).
Apple CEO Tim Cook has also not shied away from calling out Facebook for its practices and business model. In a speech at the start of the year, Cook implied that Facebook's business model leads to polarization and violence. A Meta spokesperson declined to respond to a comment from Yahoo Finance regarding the survey.