Monday, November 29

Mocking Meta: Facebook’s VR Name Change Causes Backlash | Goal


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that the social media giant will change the name of its holding company to Meta in a VR rebranding has sparked consternation and bewilderment.

On Thursday, Zuckerberg told Meta It would encompass Facebook, as well as apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and the virtual reality brand Oculus.

“Announcing Meta – Facebook’s new company name,” the tech giant said in a tweet. “Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we will play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter in social connection. “

The rebranding occurs when the company faces a series of public relations crises.

A trove of recently leaked documents, now known as Facebook Papers, exposed the inner workings of the company, with accusations from whistleblower Francis Haugen that Facebook has put profits before ridding its platform of hate speech and misinformation.

The late-night satirical news show The Daily Show modified Zuckerberg’s Meta presentation video by overlaying the tech billionaire in footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and the 2017 Charlottesville White Nationalist March. Both events were hosted on Facebook.

“Imagine you’ve put on your glasses or headphones and you’re instantly in your home space and you have an incredibly inspiring view of what looks most beautiful to you,” says Zuckerberg as images of Capital’s troublemakers and a tiki group with torches. in the background it sounds like white supremacists.

Politicians from all political parties also joined the conversation about the controversial rebranding.

New York progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not hold back in her disapproval, calling the company “a cancer for democracy” and “a global surveillance and propaganda machine to drive authoritarian regimes and destroy civil society.” .

US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey weren’t minding the ropes, either.

Blumenthal, a former Connecticut Attorney General, argued that the name change was nothing more than an effort to “confuse” and “distract,” but ultimately “will not erase years of devious practices and disregard for the privacy, welfare of the children, the spread of hatred, and genocide. “

Markey refused to acknowledge the name change. “Facebook wants us to start calling it Meta, but we will continue to call it what it is, a threat to privacy, democracy and children,” he said.

Far from the reasons for the rebrand, some disagreed with the Meta name itself.

“Meta is such a low-effort first draft name that several consulting firms were definitely paid millions of dollars,” said comedian and producer Mike Drucker.

“And it was on that day that ‘that’s so meta’ went from an interesting observation to a devastating insult,” wrote author and science vlogger Hank Green.

Other companies joined the rebranding train. Fast food store Wendy’s tweeted: “Changing name to Meat.”

Twitter also jumped on board with the official Twitter account joking that they had “big news” followed by the clarification – “lol jk still twitter”. The CEO of the social media platform, Jack Dorsey, offered a definition to help anyone confused by the change. “Goal: referring to himself or to the conventions of his genre; self-referential, ”he wrote.




www.theguardian.com

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