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Technology

'Very... meta': Twitter cracks up over Facebook rebrand

Agence France-Presse
'Very... meta': Twitter cracks up over Facebook rebrand
This photograph taken on October 28, 2021 shows the META logo on a laptop screen in Moscow as Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the parent company's name is being changed to "Meta" to represent a future beyond just its troubled social network. The new handle comes as the social media giant tries to fend off one its worst crises yet and pivot to its ambitions for the "metaverse" virtual reality version of the internet that the tech giant sees as the future.
AFP/Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

WASHINGTON, United States — Facebook's announcement Thursday that the company would henceforth be called Meta unleashed a torrent of hilarity on Twitter from companies, people and even the social media giant itself.

While critics pummelled Facebook over the change, claiming the rebranding aims to distract from the company's scandals, the internet still had a good laugh.

Here are some highlights of the meme and pun-fueled wisecracks:

'Changing name to Meat'

Meat jokes were all the rage, with US hamburger chain Wendy's tweeting shortly after the news: "Changing name to Meat."

Remaining true to its word, the chain did just that — but only on its Twitter profile.

A tweeting wit under the handle @NicoTheMemeDude queried: "Is this the beginning of the Meataverse?"

To which Wendy's retorted: "very meta."

Meta's newly minted Twitter account, which already accrued 13.5 million followers, cordially chimed in: "Nice to meat you, @Wendys."

'Sounds like a drug'

Though Meta will just be the name of the parent company, and the app will still be called Facebook, some observers were concerned.

"How can you tell anyone that you're on Meta. Sounds like a drug," wrote @careaware.

'Meh was taken'

The social network's new name spurred plenty of disappointment too.

"Why did Facebook pick 'Meta'? 'Meh' was taken," wrote @maxgoff.

Meta... World Peace?

A former pro basketball player who many know as Metta World Peace, the distinct handle he gave himself in 2011, was quickly pulled into the fray.

"Facebook's new full name is Meta World Peace," wrote @darrenrovell.

"i only recognize one metta @MettaWorld37," @MylesMaNJ opined, to which the former Laker, born Ron Artest, replied simply: "lol".

'Very... meta'

For lots of people, meta will forever describe something that refers back to or is about itself, like a film about people making a film about filmmaking.

"Everyone posting about Facebook on Twitter is very... meta," wrote @JohnRush32.

'Not the problem'

Despite the jokes, Facebook's critics were not amused by the name change, which they argued dodges the real issue.

"The name was never the problem," wrote an activist group calling itself The Real Facebook Oversight Board.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 16, 2022 - 8:55am

Get the latest news about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. Main image from by Pixelkult from Pixabay 

January 16, 2022 - 8:55am

Top bosses of Google and Facebook were directly involved in approving an allegedly illegal 2018 deal to cement their dominance of the online advertising market, US court documents revealed Friday.

The records, part of an anti-trust lawsuit by a coalition of US states targeting Google, make serious allegations against Big Tech giants long accused of holding monopolies.

According to the states' accusations, the online search colossus sought to oust competition by manipulating ad auctions — the ultra-sophisticated system that determines which ads appear on web pages based on the anonymized profiles of internet users. — AFP

January 2, 2022 - 9:27am

US authorities have asked telecom operators AT&T and Verizon to delay for up to two weeks their already postponed rollout of 5G networks amid uncertainty about interference with vital flight safety equipment.

The two companies said Saturday they are reviewing the request.

The US rollout of the high-speed mobile broadband technology had been set for December 5, but was delayed to January 5 after aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing raised concerns about potential interference with the devices planes use to measure altitude. — AFP

December 31, 2021 - 11:11am

Palestinian journalists have raised the alarm over what they describe as unjust suppression of their content on Facebook, a claim backed by rights groups but rejected by the social media giant.

On December 4, Palestine TV correspondent Christine Rinawi posted a video on her Facebook account in which Israeli security forces were seen shooting a Palestinian on the ground, killing him. He had just carried out a knife attack on an Israeli civilian. 

Shortly after she posted her video, Rinawi, who has nearly 400,000 followers, noticed it had been removed from her account. — AFP

December 17, 2021 - 10:38am

Facebook parent Meta bans a series of "cyber mercenary" groups, and begins alerting some 50,000 people likely targeted by the firms accused of spying on activists, dissidents and journalists worldwide.

Meta took down 1,500 Facebook and Instagram pages linked to groups with services allegedly ranging from scooping up public information online to using fake personas to build trust with targets or digital snooping via hack attacks.

The social media giant also started warning about 50,000 people it believes may have been targeted in more than 100 nations by firms that include several from Israel, which is a leading player in the cybersurveillance business. — AFP

December 10, 2021 - 10:47am

When website addresses using writing systems like Chinese and Arabic were introduced back in 2009, it was hailed as a step that would transform the internet.

But 12 years later, the vast majority of the web remains wedded to the Roman alphabet -- and ICANN, the organisation in charge of protecting the internet's infrastructure, is on a mission to change it.

"The truth of the matter is that even if half the world's population uses the internet today, it's the elite of the world -- mainly those living in cities, mainly those with a good income," Goran Marby, head of the US-based non-profit, told AFP in an interview. 

"Shouldn't we give people the opportunity to use their own scripts, their own keyboards, their own narratives?"

It's thanks to ICANN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — that when you type an address at the top of the screen, your computer can find the web page you're looking for.

These days it's theoretically possible to type an address in more than 150 scripts, including obscure ones like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, and watch the page load.

But large parts of the internet remain incompatible with writing systems other than the Latin alphabet. Many US websites, for example, would not allow you to make a purchase or subscribe to their newsletter if you entered an email address in Tamil or Hebrew. — AFP

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