Friday, December 3

Facebook changes its brand name to Meta amid serious reputational crisis | Technology

Facebook, the company that owns the world’s most popular social network, Instagram and the messaging service WhatsApp, has decided to change the company’s name and will be renamed Meta, as announced on Thursday by its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, at the company’s annual Facebook Connect event. The new company logo will be a blue icon similar to the infinity symbol. The different products will keep their names, starting with the social network. Zuckerberg’s inaugural talk was a monographic presentation on the metaverse, the virtual world that the company is creating and its commitment to the future, which users will be able to access through virtual and augmented reality devices. Rename Meta to your brand, by metaverse, it indicates it.

“From now on, we’ll be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” Zuckerberg said at the keynote address at the company’s Oculus Connect event. “Over time, you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services,” he added. The company posted a blog detailing the new name shortly after the announcement. The company will begin trading under the new ticker symbol MVRS on December 1, according to the blog post. The long-awaited name change comes a week after The Verge reported for the first time that the company was rebranding to focus on its metaverse future.

The expectation before the appearance of Zuckerberg was maximum, in the most unfortunate week for the firm in its 17 years of existence. This Monday the revelation by a media consortium of dozens of explosive internal documents of the company tarnished the good name of Facebook, which had already been pilloried by a judicial offensive -extendable to the other large technology companies- for alleged practices monopolistic. The confirmation that Facebook executives were aware of the deficit in control and moderation of publications – in some cases, hate messages – shook the technology company. Zuckerberg increased the expectation with a brief message on his social network, inviting the follow-up of the act, broadcast through the internet with open participation chat and fuming criticism. “This year’s Connect will be special. I hope to share our vision of the metaverse. Hope to see you all tomorrow at 10 in the morning [hora de la Costa Oeste estadounidense, nueve horas más en la Península]”.

Although it did not address the controversy, the company’s renaming does not seem unrelated to the storm. The first shock of the scandal occurred last September, when The Wall Street Journal posted internal documents proving the company was aware of the toxic effect of its Instagram photography network on adolescent self-esteem, while publicly defending its alleged mental health benefits. The deep Throat of this leak, the former employee Frances Haugen, uncovered the box of thunder on a television program with the highest audience and then before a commission of the US Senate, where she influenced the idea of ​​a company mired in a “moral bankruptcy” and returned to the public debate the always burning debate on the regulation of social networks.

This past weekend, several outlets in a coordinated way published new revelations about how Facebook had tolerated potentially violent content, such as hate speech in countries at war, guided by the sole purpose of continuing to grow and earn money. The leaks also revealed insufficient human and computer moderation of millions of posts on the social network. In fact, the Indian government has requested details from Facebook on Thursday about its filters and controls of incendiary messages, such as those that were shown to proliferate in the country due to a lack of moderators with knowledge of 20 of the 22 official languages ​​of the country.

However, this succession of scandals does not seem to make a dent in the company’s accounts, at least for the moment. On October 25, the company presented its results for the third quarter of the year, a period in which its revenues increased 35%, to $ 29 billion, with a profit of $ 9.2 billion, 17% more than in the same period of 2020.

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