After numerous employee whistleblowers and document leaks, Facebook is rushing to clean up its image ahead of the upcoming elections. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company will soon announce a rebranding with a new name to focus on the “metaverse.”
While the company currently owns social media platforms Instagram and WhatsApp, Zuckerberg shared that they wanted to be known “for more” than social media. He said he would unveil Facebook’s new name at the annual Connect conference on October 28, adding that it could be unveiled sooner.
The reported name change comes as Facebook is being criticized and investigated on how they handle misinformation, privacy, and political matters. The Daily Mail even called it the “old rebrand trick,” in which a company changes its name to avoid any scrutiny. Some ironically suggested calling the site ‘Fakebook’ and ‘Wokebook.’ Others posted a picture of The Simpsons character Mr. Burns with a fake mustache, writing “Facebook with a new name.”
Others have called third-party fact-checkers and moderators on Facebook into question, adding that they consistently suppressed a New York Post bombshell story about Hunter Biden just weeks before the 2020 presidential elections. They even excused censorship as a “standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation.”
“Misinformation” has become the new trending word to use when somebody shares an opposing view to the Democrat agenda. White House press secretary Jen Psaki even touted how the Biden administration has worked with Facebook to “flag problematic posts” on so-called medical misinformation on the site.
More people are starting to question Facebook’s political influence, especially after it was revealed that Zuckerberg spent $419m on nonprofits ahead of the 2020 election. The money was passed into local government election offices, and it came with strings attached.
Critics pointed out that it was not a matter of Democrats outspending Republicans, but that Zuckerberg essentially infiltrated election offices at the city and county level to implement the preferred administrative practices, voting methods, and data-sharing agreements. Zuckerberg also launched intensive outreach campaigns in areas “heavy” with Democratic voters. Some are going so far as to say that the 2020 election was not stolen, but essentially bought by one of the world’s most wealthy and powerful men.
Zuckerberg’s money had been poured into local offices by the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR). These two private nonprofits were essentially responsible for an 85% increase in total additional election funding, although they are chartered as nonpartisan 501(c)(3) corporations. CTCL consistently demanded the promotion of universal mail-in voting while suspending election laws, extending deadlines for mail-in voting, and expanding the options and opportunities for “ballot curing.”
Out of the 25 grants that were $1 million or larger, 23 went to areas Biden won in 2020. The funding was repeated in battleground states across the country and counties with the highest per-capita levels of spending were considered Democratic counties.
Besides getting caught up in election scandals, Facebook has also admitted to users sharing information on how to enter the country illegally or smuggling people. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has urged the Department of Justice and US AG Merrick Garland to investigate Facebook’s facilitation of illegal migration into the United States.
Facebook was even fined £50.5 million ($70 million) in the U.K for failing to provide information regarding the competition and the firm’s takeover of Gif sharing platform Giphy. There have been many allegations over the last year that Facebook engages in illegal marketing practices and substantially lessens their online competition by killing or buying them off. This is similar to anti-competitive tactics that other Big Tech companies, such as Google and Amazon, have been engaging in as well.
There’s more than one reason for Facebook to change its name – but it doesn’t mean that the scandals will stop. It’s just under a different disguise.