The 20 American Companies With the Worst Reputations

Source: Derick Hudson / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

5. Meta
> 2023 Harris Poll Reputations Score: 59.7
> Change in rank from 2016: Up by 1

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, was found lacking in the areas of citizenship, ethics, and character. Mark Zuckerberg’s company saw a revenue drop when the company bet big on the metaverse, where interactions would be virtual. To counter the revenue drop, the company has had two major rounds of layoffs and cut a key bonus metric to make Meta more efficient. The measures have not improved its reputation. The layoffs and claims of absentee management have reportedly lowered company morale.

Meta’s reputation had already taken a hit when it settled litigation stemming from lawsuits brought against Facebook by users who claimed that the company shared their data without their consent with advertisers and data brokers.

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images News via Getty Images

4. Twitter
> 2023 Harris Poll Reputations Score: 59.3
> Change in rank from 2016: Up by 1

The controversy surrounding Twitter reached a fever pitch in 2020, when conservative groups accused the social platform of censoring stories critical of Democratic candidate Joe Biden and trying to help him win the presidential election.

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk bought the company in October for $44 billion, vowing for a balanced political discussion platform. But problems arose soon after he purchased Twitter. Musk quickly cut staff, and the social network experienced glitches such as replies to tweets would show up out of order, the notifications tab did not update, and the two-factor authentication tool failed. In the Axios Harris Poll, Twitter falls short in character, trust, ethics, culture, and citizenship.

Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images News via Getty Images

3. Fox Corporation
> 2023 Harris Poll Reputations Score: 59.3
> Change in rank from 2016: down by 2

Fox’s reputation is tainted because some of its on-air talent such as former host Tucker Carlson downplayed the seriousness of the invasion of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021. Some at the conservative-leaning network have also perpetuated the false claim that former President Donald Trump was the victim of widespread voter fraud.

In April, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $800 million to avert a trial in the voting machine company’s lawsuit. Dominion had sued Fox for $1.6 billion, saying the network hurt its reputation by claiming its equipment switched votes from Trump to Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election. Those polled by Axios Harris found fault in Fox in the areas of character, trust, culture, ethics, and citizenship.

Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images News via Getty Images

2. FTX
> 2023 Harris Poll Reputations Score: 58.6
> Change in rank from 2016: No change

FTX Exchange, founded in 2018 by MIT graduate and former exchange-traded funds trader Sam Bankman-Fried, was the third-largest centralized cryptocurrency exchange as of July 2021. In November 2022, the exchange and the companies in its circle collapsed abruptly, and Bankman-Fried resigned.

The exchange’s dissolution was attributed to “a complete failure of corporate control,” according to John J. Ray III, who succeeded Bankman-Fried as CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange, calling it an “old-fashioned embezzlement.” Investors and creditors are unlikely to get their money back. Bankman-Fried faced criminal charges connected with the sudden implosion of his billion-dollar empire and cryptocurrency exchange. FTX scores under 60 in eight of the nine categories in the Axios Harris Poll.

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

1. The Trump Organization
> 2023 Harris Poll Reputations Score: 52.9
> Change in rank from 2016: No change

The Trump Organization has the worst reputation by far of any company on our list. This is the second consecutive year the former president’s company has occupied the bottom spot on the Axios Harris Poll. The company has been hit with allegations of fraudulent business practices.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is attempting to bar the Trump Organization from doing any business in the state. Last year, Allen Weisselberg, the company’s CFO, pleaded guilty to more than a dozen criminal charges that include tax fraud and the falsification of business records.

In January, the Trump Organization was hit with $1.6 million in penalties, the maximum, by a New York court for an illegal tax scheme that went back 10 years. The Trump Organization ranks as the worst company in all nine categories in the Axios Harris Poll.