Facebook Inc reported on Thursday that they would be rebranding as Meta, a nod to their “metaverse”.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the company’s live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference stressing that the name change is a reflection of their focus on building a new virtual realm. But this rebrand comes on the heels of the company’s battles with lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic decisions, and the policing of conservatives who still use the platform.
“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” he said.
Skeptics point out that it also appears to be an attempt to change the subject from the Facebook Papers, a leaked document trove so dubbed by a consortium of news organizations that include The Associated Press. Many of these documents, first described by former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen, have revealed how Facebook ignored or downplayed internal warnings of the negative and often harmful consequences its algorithms wreaked across the world.
During the virtual event, presenters discussed the changes that would bring together the various apps and technologies under Meta.
“If we all work at it, and within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people hosts hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce and support jobs for millions of creators and developers,” Zuckerberg said during a presentation at Facebook’s Connect conference Thursday. “We are fully committed to this.”
Zuckerberg wasn’t able to dodge questions surrounding the leaked documents though. He stated that the company is attempting to balance free expression with efforts to reduce harmful content.
Facebook employs more than 40,000 people to work on safety and security and spends more than $5 billion on safety and security in 2021, he said. Content moderation in virtual reality, though, has its own challenges.
The tech giant is doing more than changing its name. On Thursday they unveiled a new sign at its Menlo Park, California headquarters. The familiar thumbs-up logo that has sat at the entrance to the company was replaced with a blue infinity shape.
“Facebook is the world’s social media platform and they are being accused of creating something that is harmful to people and society,” said marketing consultant Laura Ries. She compared the name change to when BP rebranded to “Beyond Petroleum” to escape criticism that it harmed the environment. “They can’t walk away from the social network with a new corporate name and talk of a future metaverse.”
Is this Zuckerberg’s weak attempt to skirt around all of the bad press that Facebook and its apps are facing? We’ve seen the reports that Instagram is creating mental health problems in teen girls. We all know how the tech giant is silencing conservatives and conservative groups. They deem everything we say and post as “misinformation”.
They restrict what you can share about Fraudci and the current installed administration all while claiming to embrace the first amendment and demanding protections from the federal government.
No matter what name Facebook Inc takes on, they will remain a corrupt entity that is creating a lot of competition. It seems that a new social media site promoting free speech sharing pops up every day.
Including our own OneAmend and President Trump’s soon-to-launch Truth social media. It’s great that we are getting more options, but Facebook/Meta needs to be addressed for what they have been doing. A name change won’t change who they are.
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