Facebook Changing Name Amid Controversy

Thursday, October 28, 2021 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Social giant says it will change its company name amid controversy over services that critics say are biased, can be addictive to especially youngsters, and infringe on privacy. 

In a sign of changing times, its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would rebrand as Meta.

The “metaverse” refers to the idea of a shared virtual environment which can be accessed by people using different devices.

Zuckerberg made clear the change would bring together Facebook’s other apps and technologies under one new brand.

It comes amid serious questions about its future as Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told a British parliamentary committee this week that the social media giant stokes online hate and extremism.

and groups and individuals, including Worthy reporters, have complained about banning critical posts for shorter or indefinite periods.

PRODUCT MANAGER

Haugen, the former Facebook product manager, said the company fails to protect children from harmful content and lacks any incentive to fix the problems.

Her testimonies, including U.S. hearings, provided momentum for efforts by European governments working on stricter regulation of tech companies.

Zuckerberg has pushed back against Haugen’s allegations. “At the of these accusations is this idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being. That’s just not true,” he said in a Facebook post this month.

He also claimed Facebook was being punished for trying to study its impact on the world.

It remained to be seen whether the changes would satisfy critics, including those concerned about the growing power of tech giants over the lives of people and online addiction.

Under Zuckerberg’s “metaverse” plans, he sees an online world where people can play games, work, and communicate in a virtual environment, often using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.

SIMULATED EXPERIENCE

Those VR devices provide people with a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world.

During a virtual meeting about the hard realities ahead, Zuckerberg said the existing brand could not “possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future.”

He said he embraced change. “Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company. And I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”

However, Facebook said that the changes would not impact its “corporate structure.”

It suggests that, at least for now, platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, used by billions, will continue. But changes are due in how they operate and share information.

Despite controversies, the company has made profits similar to Gross Domestic Products of some countries.

Facebook said this week its net income grew 17 percent in the July-September period to $9.19 billion, or $3.22 per share. That is up from $7.85 billion, or $2.71 per share, over the third quarter a year earlier.

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