Facebook Rebrands to Meta


By Kareem Rifai, Staff Writer

2021 has been a tough year for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Apple has cost Facebook and its other platforms 10 billion dollars in profits due to Apple’s new iOS updates, which allow users the option to limit data tracking on certain apps. Additionally, there is large public awareness of the disturbing origin story of Facebook, where it was originally used to rate the attractiveness of Zuckerberg’s fellow students. On top of all of this, leaked documents dubbed the “Facebook Papers” have added additional outrage.
The Facebook Papers leaked by former Facebook data engineer Frances Haugen, exposed how the corporation’s platforms prioritized profits over social responsibility. Haugen explained how the platform’s algorithm was programmed to maximize user interaction. They do so by bombarding users with ads and posts based on what the user has interacted with. Haugen believes that this has led to political strife, fake news, mental health issues, incitement of violence, and a place for hate speech to flourish.

This begs the question, how does social media do any of this? Well, think of it like this; if you like a post about a crazy conspiracy theory, then you start to see other posts with the same conspiracy and new conspiracies as well. Over time, you start to believe in these posts and spread the fake news yourself. Political posts have the same idea. One person is stormed with posts expressing one view, and you are stormed with posts of the opposing view. The lack of balance in the information a user interacts with leads to political strife.
Amongst Facebook’s crisis, the corporation decided to rebrand to Meta. The goal of the rebranding is to disassociate Facebook with its social media platforms and focus its attention on their newest development they call the Metaverse. Skeptics like Wayne Hills Computer Science teacher Mr. Horn believe that the rebranding is an attempt to shift the focus of everything bad with Facebook to a news story. Mr. Horn also commented that he is curious about whether the rebranding will work or not.

Facebook’s Metaverse is an ongoing development to create a virtual world. Kind of like virtual reality, Metaverse users will put on a headset that will take them through the internet. The hope is that Metaverse can be used to work, play, and socialize, rather than having separate platforms to do each. When this software is released, it will undoubtedly generate even more controversy toward the corporation.
Many people like Wayne Hills Computer Science teacher Mr. Horn believe that the rebranding is an attempt to shift the focus of everything bad with Facebook to a news story, and their criticism is justified. With the rebranding, essentially nothing will change. Meta’s platforms Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, will keep their names and their destructive algorithms. Meta will keep its same corporate structure, even with calls for Zuckerberg and other corporate higher-ups to resign. The only thing that changes with the rebranding is that Facebook’s stock ticker will change from FB to MVRS on December 1.