‘Techlash to accelerate as globalism fades.’
The reputational rankings for Silicon Valley top tech corporations are plunging due to lack of ethics, according to the latest Axios Harris Poll 100.
The Harris Poll has been tracking U.S. public opinion, motivations, and social sentiment since 1963 to identify relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods.
Almost all the companies that achieved big reputational quotient gains over the prior decade were tech companies including Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, eBay, Tesla, and Google. With Apple, Amazon and Google achieving the top three reputation ranking in 2016, tech stocks led by Silicon Valley more doubled by September 2018.
But even as Apple plunged from 5th to 29th and Google tanked from 8th to 28th in the2018 Reputation Quotient study, Tesla continued its reputational ascent by jumping from 9th to 3rd place. Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema credited Tesla’s spike to CEO Elon Musk’s ability as a “modern-day carnival barker” that can fill a void with optimism.
But the wheels came off Silicon Valley’s PR machine, according to the 2019 Reputational Quotient study. Facebook suffered the worst reputational purge by puking 43 positions from number 51st to 94th; followed closely by Tesla that skidded 39 spots from 3rd to 42nd; Google diving 13 spots from 28th to 41st and Apple slipping 3 spots from 29th to 32nd place.
The American public is increasingly concerned that Silicon Valley tech giants have metastasized from technological innovators into untrustworthy corporate monopolies.
A series of Facebook scandals have revealed a data mining monster that maximizes engagement through propaganda and disinformation, often leaving users feeling unhappy and unwell. Google has used its natural monopoly to pimp political agendas that are often seen as an effort to destroy traditional American values. Tesla built an industrial behemoth by milking taxpayers to subsidize sales of $100,000 luxury cars to the rich. Apple admittedly rigged iPhone batteries to fail during its upgrade cycle.
Only the timing of 18,288 participants polled from January 2nd to the 18thallowed Amazon hang on to the number 2 spot in the 2019 Reputational Quotient study. Just weeks later, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s sexting scandal seems to have caused his wife to file for divorce. The tabloid scandal blowback helped kill $3 billion in New York subsidies to build the company’s HQ2. It may also have caused Amazon to lose the $100 billion JEDI contract to outsource all Defense Department cloud computing.
I wrote in American Thinker on February 20 that ‘Techlash to accelerate as globalism fades.’ The 2019 Harris Poll demonstrates that the backlash against Silicon Valley’s business ethics is accelerating.