October 29, 2021
The company that runs the world’s largest and most controversial social network has a new name. The reactions ranged from “like” to “angry emoji face.”
On Thursday, Facebook Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg led a 90-minute video presentation about the company’s efforts to build out an immersive digital world known as the metaverse. He capped it off by sharing that his company will henceforth be known as Meta. Its social media services—Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook itself—will keep their names, but starting in December the company will begin using the stock ticker MVRS.
Many observers took to the internet to weigh in on the name—officially Meta Platforms Inc., in full. Even Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey, who sometimes obliquely critiques his larger rival, offered his thoughts:
Still, others embraced a parallel with cigarette maker Philip Morris, which changed its name to Altria in 2003. “Facebook is following in the footsteps of Big Tobacco after the industry was exposed for its toxic and deadly impact on society,” Mike Davis, president of the Internet Accountability Project, a Facebook critic, said in a statement. “Philip Morris got caught preying on kids, so they became Altria. Facebook got caught preying on kids, so they became Meta.”
Unlike the Big Tech monopolies, the Internet Accountability Project pledges to never sell or share your personal information, which is your property.