Internet Dunks on Facebook for Prioritizing “Meta” Virtual Reality Rebranding Over Safety
Meta ain't any betta.
In an effort to shed its terrible reputation (consisting of misinformation, selling user data, and much more), founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook—the company, not the service itself—is renaming itself to Meta. In addition to the rename, the company is continuing to promote its VR and AR technology. For workspaces (ew) and to hang out … I guess? Who knows?
What we do know for sure is that this is the same company that …
- choose to let hateful content (linked to real hate crimes and genocide) slide for engagement numbers.
- divested from workgroups and programs that would tackle the harmful ways Meta’s products are harming societies globally.
- under employ translators (leading to violence and rising nationalism) even among the most spoken languages in the world (Spanish, Arabic, etc.).
- lie to investors and the public about the effect Instagram was having on children, especially young girls.
- has employees using back end information to stalk exes.
- allows misinformation ads from verified users on things as simple as targeting marginalized voters with incorrect information on which day to vote.
- (speaking of information) sell user data to operations and firms that work with politicians (Cambridge Analytica).
There is more, but do I need to continue?
While it’s easy to say this is because of the recent files shared by whistleblower Frances Haugen, I think this was inevitable. They’ve been desperate to rebrand since 2016 and especially after 2018. Because a majority of Congress couldn’t pass a basic media or computer literacy test (even if given advance notice), it’s likely nothing will be done.
It is up to other governing bodies of equal or greater power (like the European Union) to pass regulations, hopefully so sweeping Facebook won’t be able to apply it to a specific region. Also, hopefully, those laws apply to the platforms and not the company and prevent a loophole like a stupid name change from unraveling the legislation.
Oh, and there is one more thing we can do: make fun of how ludicrous this all is.
Laughing through our dystopian present
— Taylor Moore (@taylordotbiz) October 28, 2021
Who thought “meta” was a good idea, I just want to talk… pic.twitter.com/mQMBLeIilT
— Imani Barbarin, MAGC | Crutches&Spice ♿️ (@Imani_Barbarin) October 29, 2021
Let’s be real, they could’ve named it something unique and brand-friendly, and these jokes would’ve continued.
— Charlotte Avery (@mc_lotta) October 28, 2021
While the company will be renamed to Meta and the platform Facebook will stay named “Facebook,” the jokes about older family members (susceptible to radicalization) being confused or worried about the change continued anyways. Others confused (because the announcement was a mess) seemed concerned.
gonna confuse their elderly audience
— brielle (@tbydoja) October 28, 2021
Meta? LMAOOO the aunties are about to mass delete Facebook and call it devil worship. 💀😭 https://t.co/De6dagD38Y
— Daric C., M.A. (he/him/Él) (@DaricCott) October 28, 2021
Several trans individuals pointed out that, per Facebook’s own requirements, they would reciprocate by refusing to call the company Meta. That is, of course, until the paperwork is shown. (Even then, it is far easier for a company to change their name and have that respected than an actual human being.)
As a trans person, I plan to keep calling them Facebook until they prove their name change via legal documents https://t.co/wLJI0d7nR9
— Grave-son Ghoul (he/him) (@GraysonGoal) October 28, 2021
FB changed its name to Meta and media orgs immediately began calling it by its new name. Simple. Easy. No problem. So why do some of you throw a shit fit and maliciously use a person’s deadname when they don’t want to be called as such anymore?
— Brian J. French in flap-jaw space (@BJFrench3) October 28, 2021
Like Facebook as a platform, this rebranding is going to lead to some unwanted outcomes we can see from a mile away, which makes me wonder … was Zuck so pressed on this that he ignored these concerns, or does he surround himself with just “yes men”?
Also going to make it really hard to search for news articles about them. “Facebook” is a unique word, but “Meta” is going to get drowned in unrelated searches. https://t.co/eD7EQ4FY17
— Alex Brown 🐀 (they/them) (@QueenOfRats) October 28, 2021
They thought, “Meta” was LESS creepy?
— James S.A. Corey (@JamesSACorey) October 28, 2021
I am also heated for this exact reason today. I can’t even say “that’s so meta” anymore bc zuck has to steal everything fun and turn it into something we all hate https://t.co/6bL7lLujDX
— rich auntie vibes (but spooky) (@alaw312) October 29, 2021
Even 4chan is taking this as an opportunity to say “shove it” despite much of their content ending up on Meta’s platforms anyways.
Anon has a plan to screw with Facebook’s new Meta name pic.twitter.com/DEvQ9C7yss
— 4chan Greentexts (@4chanGreentxts) October 29, 2021
Beyond this messy Facebook Meta
The name alone wasn’t the only thing dunked on, but the rest wasn’t really new, either. The video (we highlighted yesterday in Things We Saw Today) was very cringey because the Zuck continues to be the face of Facebo—I mean Meta. I’m not even talking about the reptilian jokes steeped in antisemitism, just how awkward he is.
it apparently means a lot to him pic.twitter.com/npLLHpdIiv
— Laryn ⚢ (@uniquelyboring) October 28, 2021
In all seriousness, please consider media literate candidates at every level of government when voting. Also, consider divesting from Meta properties if allowed (Instagram, What’s App, Messenger, etc.). I say “if allowed” because they have really built a whole monster that is still necessary for many businesses and connecting with those abroad.
(via Twitter, image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images and screenshots)
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]