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Facebook no longer among 10 most valuable global brands

Mark Zuckerberg on importance of freedom of expression

Facebook no longer ranks among the world's 10 most valuable brands, according to branding consultancy Interbrand, a sign the repeated blows to the social media company's reputation in recent years is taking a toll.

Facebook fell to No. 14 in Interbrand's annual ranking of "best global brands," released this week. Just two years ago, the company was No. 8 on the list and was singled out as a "rapidly appreciating" brand.

Companies with a strong brand tend to enjoy greater consumer loyalty and are often able to charge more for their products and services than their competitors. That's one reason businesses work to protect their brands, and why the most valuable brands are often synonymous with the most valuable companies. This year's top three brands — Apple, Google and Amazon — have retained their top positions, with a few minor shifts, for years.

More generally, Facebook's declining brand equity underlines the public's dimming view of the world's largest social network. Earlier this year, the company agreed to a record $5 billion fine with the Federal Trade Commission over its role in allowing Cambridge Analytica to access user data without their consent.

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Facebook's plan to launch a virtual currency, dubbed Libra, has also attracted scrutiny from Congress, the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve. The project's path forward appears uncertain after it lost eight of its initial backers, including high-profile payment processors PayPal, Visa and Mastercard.

Facebook has also been accused of facilitating the spread of misinformation, most recently by allowing misleading political ads. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday defended the practice as a way of encouraging vigorous public debate.

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