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Facebook announces rebranding to ‘Meta’

As Facebook attempts remarketing, questions over its practices remain.


by Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Courtesy of Simon via Pixabay


Created by students in a dorm room nearly two decades ago, Facebook has grown into one of the most powerful media platforms in the world; however, the company has announced plans to rebrand as ‘Meta.’


Notably, the change will not apply to the company's individual platforms, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and the Facebook App, which will all retain their names.


The change comes at a time of turmoil, as ‘Meta’ faces increased public and governmental scrutiny over its practices.

A massive trove of documents leaked by whistleblower Francis Haugen demonstrates how the company put profits ahead of the common good, struggling to contain the spread of disinformation and inflammatory content through their platforms and holding important users (such as former President Trump) to different content standards.


Known collectively as the ‘Facebook Papers,’ the cache was reviewed by multiple news organisations and provided (with redactions) to the US Congress.


Speaking last month, Meta’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejected these statements, with the BBC reporting that he dismissed such reports as a ‘coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company.’


In an article by the BBC, James Clayton, the BBC’s North American technology reporter, responded to the timing of the rebrand, commenting, ‘the move looks like Facebook is trying to divert attention away from the trove of negative stories hanging around the company. Critics believe Facebook has done this because the brand has become toxic…’


Clayton’s argument may be correct, as the wide majority of the public feels that social media can be a harmful product. Indeed, in a Pew Research poll conducted last year, over sixty per cent of people in the United States viewed social media as having a negative effect on the country as a whole.


Likewise, YouGov polling in the UK from 2018 suggests that only 14% of British voters believe that social media is good for society. Despite this opposition, Meta’s products are more popular than ever before, boasting nearly six billion monthly active users over its top three platforms.