29 October 2021

Motherboard: “Zuckerberg announces Fantasy World where Facebook is Not a Horrible Company”

Moments before announcing Facebook is changing its name to “Meta” and detailing the company’s “metaverse” plans during a Facebook Connect presentation on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg said some people will say this isn’t a time to focus on the future, referring to the massive, ongoing scandal plaguing his company relating to the myriad ways Facebook has made the world worse. I believe technology can make our lives better. The future will be built by those willing to stand up and say this is the future we want.

But Zuckerberg’s pitch of living, working, playing, and generally existing in a utopian, fake, Facebook-developed virtual world loaded with fun and friendly people, concerts where you can always be in the front row, seamless mixed-reality basketball games where you feel like you are actually playing basketball, and kicksass, uhh, NFTs you can use to modify your metaverse avatar, is a far cry from the disinformation, conspiracy theories, genocide-related, self-esteem destroying, spam, and general garbage content that exists on the platforms Facebook has already built.

There is no universe, meta-or-otherwise, in which people will not spread conspiracy theories, hate speech, and make threats online. In the metaverse, they will try to show each other their dicks, though it’s worth noting right now that Facebook’s current metaverse avatars do not have bodies that exist below their waists.

Jason Koebler

In the least surprising rebranding of the decade… Facebook now has a parent company called Meta, on a model similar to Google’s restructuring under the Alphabet umbrella a couple of years ago. Except this time Mark Zuckerberg continues to be firmly in charge of the new Meta, as he was before, so let’s not expect significant changes to its products and toxic effects.

Illustration Verge Mark Zuckerberg interview about Meta rebranding
Illustration by Samar Haddad

The decision to rebrand the company has inevitably sparked a wave of banter and puns online, as people wondered what the new name would be. I must say I liked Jack Dorsey’s mock suggestion the most:

As for the metaverse vision… let me play devil’s advocate and argue that, if humanity doesn’t manage to keep global warming in check over the next decades, we might all be forced to take refuge in a metaverse or another, as the environment becomes too unpredictable and hostile in many areas of the globe. If Meta survives until then, it might well become the most crucial and valuable company in the world – just think of the ad targeting potential if everyone is plugged into Meta all the time!

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