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Facebook Faces Reputational Impact

Facebook has been ‘building a global community that works for all of us’ since the mid noughties.

It followed home desktop computers into our households, and an entire generation grew up replacing the concept of meeting up with ‘checking in’, and formalising fall-outs with ‘unfriending’ (a term that officially entered the dictionary in 2009).

Revelations last month that 50 million Facebook profiles had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica, without permission, in a major breach of data, to build a system that targets voters with personalised political advertisements based on psychological profiling, have continued to affect Facebook this week.

Only today (Friday 6th April), it was reported that the Facebook scandal has hit 2.7 million in the EU.

The scandal has caused a media storm and widespread public anger.

So – What’s the damage?

Populus has analysed Facebook’s reputation using our proven Populus Reputation Model, pre-crisis (as measured at the end of 2016) in comparison to post-crisis levels.

In 2016, their reputation was not particularly strong, but equally, it was certainly not poor.

Post-crisis (as measured in March 2018) Facebook’s reputation has not only decreased significantly, but it has decreased to a greater extent than witnessed before.

Alongside this decrease, Facebook’s intensity score has increased. This means that not only do people have a poorer view of Facebook, but their feelings about it are stronger.

The full chart can be viewed below:

Next week Populus will publish new research exploring the potential extent of the reputational impact of the scandal, as well as research on public opinions towards the company.

The Populus Reputation Measurement approach has been constantly developed over 13 years, and is a proven series of tools, techniques and analysis which allows reputation to be understood, influenced and improved. It combines robust research with analytics, benchmarks, actionable advice and strategic counsel.

Methodology
Populus’s Reputation Credit Score is Populus’s established metric of topline corporate reputation, which assesses perceptions of a company on core reputation drivers. The Intensity Score is a measure of how strongly people feel towards a company and how sure they are of their perceptions.

The higher the Reputation Credit Score, the more positive the reputation. The higher the Intensity Score, the stronger and more certain the views.

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