Into the Metaverse

Isaac Coleman, Political Editor

Facebook is now Meta, What does that mean?
We all know what Facebook is, for many it was our first experience with social media. How did this small, very simplistic company become one of the five largest tech companies in the world?
Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg but would not become a powerhouse company until ten years later when Facebook Inc. acquired WhatsApp, two years after the acquisition of Instagram.
Facebook then faced an antitrust lawsuit and accusation by the Federal Government, as well as Zuckerberg’s long-time friend and co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes who promoted breaking up Facebook in an Op-ed for the New York Times. Hughes argued that “Mark’s power is unchecked and unamerican” according to CNET.
Hughes found allies in Congress and other lawmakers throughout the country who would heed his call and take it up in the annals of Congress. Members of Congress, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, and former Senator and current Vice President Kamala Harris called for the breakup of Facebook along with members of the Progressive Caucus.
CNET also said that following the cries for the breakup of Facebook, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, argued that breaking up this massive company was not the answer, he argued “accountability of tech companies can only be achieved through the painstaking introduction of new rules for the internet. That is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has called for.”
Now, however, Facebook has faced multiple issues from within. After whistleblower, Frances Haugen, a former data analyst at Facebook, accused the company of being harmful to children, allowing hate to spread at an unprecedented rate and undermines democracy for “breakneck growth and ‘astronomical profits’” according to NPR, as well as having a lack of security which allowed Russian hackers to influence the 2016 presidential election, Zuckerberg’s response was to move forward with the idea of changing the companies name away from Facebook Inc. to Meta Platforms.
This is to allow Meta to emphasize “moving from being Facebook first as a company to being metaverse first,” he explained. Zuckerberg’s concept of the metaverse is his idea of the future of the internet, one in which social media and virtual reality, Oculus VR is also owned by Meta Platforms, will help move the world forward into a truly digital age.

According to the Verge, Zuckerberg claimed the current cycle of bad news “had nothing to bear on this. Even though I think some people might want to make that connection, I think that’s sort of a ridiculous thing. If anything, I think that this is not the environment that you would want to introduce a new brand in.”
This new rebrand and emphasis on unity do seem to coincide well with attacks on the company’s record surrounding being un-American and antidemocratic, however.