According to the survey carried out by Yahoo! Finance, which seeks every year to publicise the best and worst companies from around the world, Facebook, now known as Meta, took the crown as the worst company of the year.
It received 50% more votes as the worst company of the year than the runner-up, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. On the other hand, Microsoft was crowned the best company of this year.
The open-ended survey, which was performed on Survey Monkey via the Yahoo! Finance homepage from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, received 1,541 respondents.
Among the varied reasons why individuals marked Facebook or Meta as the “Worst Company of the Year” include perceptions of censorship, in particular of right and conservative voices, which individuals stated they felt the “free-speech-police” as unfair and should have the ability to communicate whatever they wished on their platform.
In contrast, others found that Facebook or Meta was to be blamed for the rise of far-right extremist views. One respondent even accused Meta of “undermining democracy worldwide.” Another Facebook or Meta owned app, Instagram’s effects on mental health and targeting children were also raised as concerning incidents.
A respondent said that Facebook could redeem itself by acknowledging and apologising 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. A significant amount of responses focused on executives and founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The credibility of the company does not seem to be at its best either, and it is that of the survey participants, only three out of ten see it as possible that Facebook can redeem itself from its mistakes.
On the other end of the scale, Yahoo Finance selected Microsoft as Company of the Year for 2021, for reaching a market capitalisation milestone of $2 trillion, along with a 53% year-to-date surge in its stock price.