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Things We Saw Today: Facebook Ignores Problems, Rebrands Itself as “Meta”

Plus Jordan Peele, B.J. Novak, and more!

Mark Zuckerberg debuts Meta

It’s been a disastrous month for social mega giant Facebook, as whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked documents to the Wall Street Journal, resulting in a series of bombshell exposés about the company. Haugen shared that Facebook’s chief drivers were creating anger and sowing division among its users, and that those in charge stoked online vitriol for clicks and engagement.

In adding to making the world less safe, Facebook and Instagram were found to cause and exacerbate anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, especially in teenage girls. The company is well aware of these issues, and is committed to doing nothing to stop them.

In light of all this horrific press, one would think that Facebook would implement new policies or change their algorithms, but founder Mark Zuckerberg is not doing either of those things. Instead, he’s pivoting to a new company name: Meta. In a video announcement, Zuckerberg said, “It is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, … From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first.”

Zuckerberg continued, “Building our social media apps will always be an important focus for us. But 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.”

Okay but … what exactly is it? Zuckerberg demonstrated a variety of VR and AR applications, where your avatar can do … things! With products and tech made by Facebook Meta! What exactly those things are and how one would use them remain deeply ensconced in Silicon Valley vague-speak. The main thing that Zuck referenced was enhanced safety and privacy features, which is a dead giveaway that they’ll be selling off our data to the highest bidder. Very normal, cool stuff!

Great work, everyone.

(via NPR, image: screencap)

  • Sony is now using the PlayStation PC label for its PC games. (via The Verge)
  • A Boston surgeon is being fined for leaving the operating room to eat lunch in his car, where he fell asleep and slept through the procedure. (via The Boston Globe)
  • Denis Villeneuve always envisioned Dune as a trilogy, says there will be no director’s cut of part one. (via The Playlist)

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star as the hellishly funny demons of a teen named Kat in Wendell & Wild:

  • Benedict Cumberbatch talks taking over for Iron Man as Spider-Man’s mentor in No Way Home. (via
  • How B.J. Novak became a stock photo superstar. (via NY Times)
  • Here’s a look at systemic inequality in fictional magical academies. (viaTor)

Only 57 shopping days ’til Christmas!

Hope you’re having a kickass Thursday, Mary Suevians!

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.