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Expand chart
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans have fallen further out of love with Big Tech, the latest Axios/Harris 100 brand reputation poll shows.

Why it matters: Even though Americans were hyper-connected to their devices throughout the pandemic, their relationship with many of the world's biggest tech firms has continued on a downward trend, suggesting that people see their products as necessary evils.

Social media leaders Facebook and Twitter failed to improve their standing near the bottom of the list, despite their role in helping users stay connected through pandemic-era isolation.

  • The biggest loser among tech giants was Google, which faced PR headwinds in 2020 as the government sued it for monopolistic practices.
  • Amazon lost its place at the very top of the reputational roster but retained a strong positive rating.
  • Apple, which spent the last year making record profits and touting its privacy protections, was the only tech giant to substantially improve its reputation score.

Overall, companies that sell products and services to businesses and individuals — like Microsoft, Apple, Sony and HP — fared much better than ad-supported social media and information tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and Reddit.

  • Streaming tech companies like Hulu and Netflix fared better than both those groups this year, but slightly worse than previous years, as streaming fatigue sets in.

How it works: The Harris poll first identifies the 100 most visible companies and then ranks them based on what respondents think of them.

  • So "being in the top 100" alone doesn't mean a company is beloved. And brands near the bottom of the list have a lot of work to do on their reputations.

The big picture: Tech's reputation does not compare favorably to other industries in the poll. While sectors like pharmaceuticals, energy and financial services saw tremendous gains during the pandemic, tech and media suffered.

What to watch: Newcomers to the poll this year, like TikTok and Reddit, show that newer tech firms are becoming more visible to Americans.

Go deeper: Read the full results of our Axios/Harris 100 reputation poll and learn more about the methodology.

Go deeper

Exclusive: EPA administrator visits Apple HQ to talk climate, environmental justice

EPA administrator Michael Regan (L) on a tour of Apple headquarters led by former EPA head and now Apple executive Lisa Jackson on Aug. 17, 2021. (Apple handout)

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan visited the Apple headquarters Tuesday for a conversation with former EPA head Lisa Jackson, who now serves as the tech giant's leader on environment, policy and social initiatives.

The big picture: Apple, considered a leader in procuring renewable energy for its stores, data centers and offices, is in the midst of tackling its toughest environmental challenge yet: greening its vast, global supply chain. The company is aiming to have a carbon neutral supply chain by 2030.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Aug 18, 2021 - Technology

Facebook says it sees signs that COVID vaccine hesitancy is declining

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Facebook said Wednesday it's seeing signs that resistance to the COVID-19 vaccine is weakening both in the United States and abroad, though it acknowledged it still doesn't have hard numbers on how frequently misinformation is being shared on its platforms.

Why it matters: Facebook touts a survey showing improved attitudes toward the vaccines, but that survey finding raises questions, as other polling has shown significant and entrenched hesitancy, especially in the U.S. It also doesn't show that Facebook or other social media can be credited for any shift.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson e in the t figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.