Facebook has a new name, but the same old problems. On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced it is rebranding as Meta, part of a wide-ranging effort to be seen as more than just a social media company.
The news arrives as Facebook is dealing with the fallout from the Facebook Files, a series of internal documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen that provide evidence that Facebook was aware of the harms caused by its platform, including the spread of misinformation and revelations that some teen users of Instagram, which Facebook owns, say the platform has taken a toll on their mental health.
According to the Associated Press, Meta is a reference to the company’s new focus on “the metaverse,” a sci-fi vision of the future in which people interact and work in a new online realm that features augmented reality technologies. (Facebook, or uh, Meta, has already developed a virtual reality headset called Quest).
The rebrand was met mostly with jokes about the name choice reminders about the tech giant’s existing problems, including a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the company is a monopoly.
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