Public’s Positive Perception Of Google And Apple Sharply Dropped in 2017, Says Poll

Eric Lieberman | Associate Editor

Both Apple and Google aren’t the darlings of Silicon Valley anymore, according to a new survey published Tuesday, showing a precipitous drop in positive public perception.

Apple, ranked as high as number two on the comprehensive list in 2016, dropped to 29th in the Harris Poll grading America’s views on the reputations of the “most visible companies.” Similarly, Google went from eight in 2017 to 28th in 2018.

Amazon, on the other hand, took the top spot for a third straight year. Other companies in the top 10 include (in order): Wegmans, Tesla Motors, Chick-fil-A, The Walt Disney Company, HEB Grocery, UPS, Publix Super Markets, Patagonia and Aldi.

“Google and Apple, at this moment, are sort of in valleys,” John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll, told Reuters while trying to explain why the two aforementioned companies may have gone so far down in the massive survey of 25,800 U.S. adults. “We’re not quite to self-driving cars yet. We’re not yet seeing all the things in artificial intelligence they’re going to do,” he said. (RELATED: Why Is Google Parent Company CEO Eric Schmidt Technically Serving In The Department Of Defense?)

The annual survey measures what prominent companies “either excelled or faltered in society” in the previous year. Its metrics account for “six dimensions”: financial performance, vision and leadership, emotional appeal, workplace environment, products and services, and social responsibility.

The researchers interviewed 25,880 adults online between Dec. 11 and Jan. 12.

When considering other surveys, the downward trend in U.S. people’s impression of Apple and Google isn’t especially surprising. A majority of Americans want the government to regulate the tech industry, according to a recent Axios survey, indicating a considerable shift in people’s opinions of the tech companies and their potential effects on society.

Also, a large majority of conservatives working in Silicon Valley feel uncomfortable working in the larger tech hub, according to a different survey published by the Lincoln Network in early February. Around 89 percent and 74 percent of people who identified as “very conservative” or “conservative,” respectively, said they are hesitant of being themselves at their place of employment.

Also WATCH: Google Targeting Conservatives News Websites: Is Anyone Surprised?

More than two-thirds of libertarians, which were the largest portion of respondents in the overall study, said the same.

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