Earlier this afternoon (10/28/21), Facebook announced that it will be officially changing its name to Meta, in response to controversy over the last few months concerning breaches of privacy, cybersecurity, and democracy.
Critics say this is a calculated move for the company, focusing on the development of its role in the virtual world, and shifting public attention away from the fact that the social media platform has been causing harm to its users.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon at the company’s annual event Connect, where it discusses future plans and products.
The rebranding, which takes its name from a digital term describing the virtual world known as the metaverse is interestingly timed, considering the backlash the company has received recently for causing “a litany of social harms”. (SOURCE)
The company, which also owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus says that the social media app Facebook will keep the same name. This is a rebranding for the company as a whole, aiming to separate itself from the newsfeeds we’ve come to know.
“From now on, we’re going to be the metaverse first. Not Facebook first, Facebook is [one of] the most used products in the world. But increasingly, it doesn’t encompass everything that we do. Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we are doing.”
In recent weeks, a whistleblower came forward with an alarming array of evidence outlining how the company has led the public down “misinformation rabbit holes”, incited extreme political upheaval across the globe, and was somehow unable to intervene before one of its groups eventually incited the insurrection which occurred on January 6th of this year. (SOURCE)
The controversy has propelled officials around the world to re-evaluate their restrictions on the tech industry.
Wikipedia has already been modified to reflect the name change.