Facebook and Instagram platforms, WhatsApp and Messenger messaging apps and Oculus virtual reality headsets now belong to Meta, which dreams of becoming the conductor of a parallel universe, escaping the daily scandals associated with social media.
The founder of the tech giant who is accused of putting profit ahead of humans, chose rebranding with the name “meta” to show that “there is always more to grow” and introduced the new blue logo with ∞, the mathematical symbol of infinity.
“We learned a lot by dealing with a lot of problems,” he said, explaining that it was time to learn the lessons “to create the next chapter” after spending an hour and a half presenting “metaverse”, which he sees as the future of the Internet. after the age of computers and smartphones.
However, the name change is interpreted as a maneuver to distract the tech giant affected by a series of scandals, from data confidentiality to respect for competition rights.
“The name change does not change reality: Facebook is destroying our democracy and is a major source of misinformation and hatred,” according to The Real Facebook Oversight Board, a non-governmental activist group. Facebook Surveillance).
Twitter was flooded with sarcastic and critical comments.
“Meta, that is, ‘we are a cancer of democracy that is metastasizing to become a surveillance and propaganda machine for supporting authoritarian regimes, destroying civil society … and making a profit!'” Wrote Alexandria Okasio-Cortes, for example. , star of the American left.
Others noted that Google remained Google in people’s minds despite the creation, in 2015, of the parent Alphabet to frame experimental activities in innovation.
The anger of governments and civil society has intensified in recent weeks against Facebook, following the revelations of Frances Haugen, who show that the tech giant has chosen to ignore some of the dangers – toxic content on Instagram for young people, which undermines democracy, etc. – to preserve its profits.
The company, which is already the target of numerous investigations and prosecutions, is facing a new investigation by the US government, based on internal documents that the former engineer handed over to the US stock market authorities, the SEC.
On Tuesday, Facebook asked all its employees to keep all the internal documents of the last many years in order to be able to respond to possible court requests.
In his presentation, Mark Zuckerberg addressed little of society’s concerns and only in an abstract and positive way.
“I have learned many lessons of humility in recent years. “I have come to the conclusion that lack of options and high prices are stifling innovation, preventing people from developing new things and slowing down the entire digital economy,” he said, pinning down Apple and its ecosystem built around the iPhone.
The boss of Meta referred mainly to his vision for the metavers, which “will give a deep sense of the presence of the other”.
Design a future virtual reality universe invoking science fiction novels, where real people and objects are mixed together with avatars and virtual environments, thanks to new cutting-edge technologies.
“You will be able to send a message just by looking at your fingers typing the message, it will be unbelievable,” he said excitedly.
Meta wants to invest billions in the coming years to build an ecosystem that will represent, in ten years, “one billion users, hundreds of millions of dollars in digital commerce and millions of jobs for creators and developers.”
Zuckerberg insists on the need to develop interoperability programs, such as the ability to create a garment in a digital space and use it in another space, and to ensure that users are not ‘trapped in a world or a platform’ ».
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