Tech, pharma and car companies were the only organizations in 2021 with a net positive trustworthiness rating worldwide. 34, 31 and 27 percent of participants in the annual Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor deemed these types of corporations to be deserving of their trust. As our chart shows, governments, media companies and social media corporations have the worst trust-to-mistrust ratio of all sectors.
The positive attitude towards pharmaceutical companies, which gained six percent on the results of 2018, can be explained with the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the rapid and effective production of vaccines, although the decision to not lift patent restrictions on illness-preventing and potentially life-saving inoculations has come under scrutiny by activists and medical professionals over the past years. The banking sector managed to gain even more ground with an increase of eight percent to a total of 28 percent deeming banks trustworthy, with 62 percent of Chinese respondents claiming banking organizations can be trusted. This is contrasted by 32 percent of respondents claiming to not trust banking companies, netting the sector fifth place when viewed through the lens of the most untrustworthy organization types. Mistrust in the media and social media companies has potentially been exacerbated by the coverage of the pandemic and, in the case of social media giant Meta, the scandal surrounding whistleblower Frances Haugen furthering calls for regulation of Big Tech due to its negative influence on its users.
While the share of respondents mistrusting government and media might seem high, they have been largely consistent with minor swings over the years according to Ipsos experts. Since its initial run in 2018, the Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor aims to dispel the idea that general trust in institutions and organizations is in crisis by surveying more than 20,000 adults in over 20 countries per year.