Corporate hating is not only popular, it’s kind of funny. The web site consumerist is a wealth, pardon the pun, of anti-corporate propaganda. In addition to their pithy, poignant, and often outright scary blogs, in the spirit of the Darwin Prize, they are hosting their Third Annual Worst Company in America contest. Like everything these days, the contestants, the outcome, and the general content are all user generated. Along with amusing graphics of the epic worst company showdowns, there is a quick mention of the evil deeds of the corporations that Americans love to hate. Halliburton took the prize in a sweep the first year, and RIAA was the winner last year. For 2008, a record 121 companies were nominated. So, what are a few of the corporate behaviors that people hate the most this year? Allstate and Verizon are competing in lying to customers. The sites users are determining if Ticketmaster’s monopolistic price-hiking practices are a greater evil than Wachovia’s sloppy safeguarding of customers’ information and their sluggish response to it being compromised. Pfizer is a contender with their ambiguous drug pushing ads, deceptive spokespeople, and their costly game of repatenting slightly altered versions of existing drugs. Diebold may prove a contender with their insecure voting machines that betrayed the public trust. Facebook has offended with its blatant data mining, but faces stiff competition from the American Arbitration Association and their hard work at curtailing consumer rights. A note for curious companies: the free publicity of nomination may not be worth the infamy, but it might be worth your time to see what sort things engender public ire.

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