TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES ARE on the defensive, battling waves of criticism. Facebook is overrun by fake news and sold political ads to the Russians. Rivals accuse Google of skewing its search results, and women have sued the company for alleged discrimination in pay and promotions. Liberals complain the platforms are enabling hate speech; conservatives say they are suppressing free speech. Some policy makers want to curb companies they say have grown too powerful.
You’d never know it by asking the American people.
Amazon, Facebook, and Google have all held steady in daily favorability polls conducted by research firm Morning Consult over the past year, through Tuesday. The ratings wiggle a bit from week to week, but the companies haven’t seen any decline. As of Thursday, 88 percent of respondents view Google favorably, compared with only 6 percent who hold a negative view. Morning Consult calls this a “net favorability” of 82 percent. By the same measure, Amazon is at 77 percent, and Facebook sits at 60 percent.
When consumers are unhappy, those numbers can slip into negative territory, meaning more respondents hold an unfavorable view of a company than a favorable one. That’s what happened to United Airlines’ net favorability after …