OPINION: Facebook’s rebranding should be greeted with concern, not rejection | Opinion



When Mark Zuckerberg announcement that Facebook renamed its company name to Meta and focused on the metaverse, a virtual reality space for games, social media, and office connectivity, the internet immediately gave the rebrand the meme treatment.

BuzzFeed It was quick to muster some of the best reactions, and the response was even captured around the world, with a Pakistani news channel calling Twitter’s reaction “memes party. “

More critical users noted the timing of the announcement, which came as Facebook suffered meticulous examination for its processing of user data, the negative impacts on political polarization and harm to adolescent girls.

The rebranding looked in some ways like a distraction from all the negative publicity built around the Facebook controversy. By changing the name, perhaps the concern surrounding the “facebook papers”Could be left in the past, as could the name of the parent company itself.

But Twitter users weren’t going to let that happen. Instead, the ad served to put Facebook, or Meta, back in the spotlight and welcomed a whole new series of reviews, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, decrying the rebranding as a meaningless diversion from the real problem at hand. Meanwhile, the official Meta account was request Balenciaga what would be the dress code for the Metaverse.

I agree with many critics from Meta and Facebook that the company has done a poor job of keeping user data safe and that Facebook’s algorithms have contributed to political polarization. Long before the recent whistleblower testimonies and the release of the Netflix documentary, The social dilemmaI had already assumed that Facebook, and all social media for that matter, had some negative influences on society, and I guess I wasn’t the only one who understood that.

It wouldn’t be any less shocking if McDonald’s were slammed tomorrow for an employee revealing that eating burgers and fries every day might not be the best for fast food customers.

That’s why I don’t think Zuckerberg’s decision to rename his company “Meta” has anything to do with the recent controversy.

In fact, the controversy over Facebook’s past could be the real distraction from Meta’s plan to build the Internet’s future with a potentially dangerous business model.

Ironically, it’s almost as if Facebook’s most critics – or at least those most willing to criticize Facebook publicly on Twitter – have been too distracted in Facebook’s past to take Meta’s future seriously.

If a local politician is faced with allegations of corruption, a sudden decision to run for state or national office would not be dismissed as an insignificant distraction, but rather as a reason to focus efforts on preventing that politician from operating. move to a higher position.

As its influence migrates from a 2D world contained in portable rectangles to a fully immersive experience – one in which Meta played a leading role in the creation – the emphasis should no longer be on criticism but on reducing its future.

And there are good reasons to assume that the metaverse will be the future of the internet. Less than a week after the announcement of Facebook’s rebranding, Microsoft announcement plans for his version of the metaverse. Nike prepared for digital clothing sales in the metaverse and Meta stock has rebounded nearly 10% since the October 28 name change after dropping significantly from September highs.

General predictions about the future of technology are often wrong, however google glasses hasn’t revolutionized anything in mainstream communication since its release in 2013. However, technology companies have yet to completely abandon the idea of ​​augmented reality glasses.

One thing is certain: the “metaverse” is only in its infancy, and the direction it takes is easier to influence now than it will be as it develops.

The right answer to those wary of Facebook’s influence on the world is not to dismiss the rebranding as a distraction from Facebook’s claims, but rather to recognize the immense power that Facebook has in shaping the next iteration of the Internet and speak out accordingly.

The Metaverse has the potential to be a better version of the current internet, although Facebook’s polarizing algorithms and addictive interface also have the potential to make it a much more destructive place.

A concerned student is no match for a tech giant, but if tech experts put the same energy into creating a healthier metaverse instead of focusing on Facebook’s past flaws, maybe the future won’t be such a dystopia after all.

Brian Beach is a junior journalism student. Reach it at [email protected].


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