A Meta Lesson of Meta
Killing Meta.org and betraying assurances about CZI both came easily to the Zuck
A quick post on what everyone’s talking about — the renaming of Facebook as Meta, akin to Google’s renaming of itself as Alphabet. We all know how effective that was. I mean, we’re constantly referring to Alphabet when we’re talking about Google, YouTube, and Android.
It’s obvious that Mark Zuckerberg’s rebranding is a cynical ploy to divert attention from the avalanche of bad news Facebook has been facing, while allowing him to put himself above the fray and throw a new CEO of Facebook to the political and media wolves.
The corresponding news that Meta.org will be shuttering itself on March 31, 2022, ends speculation about the future of this once-promising text-mining startup — it’s going to scatter its technological dust across the servers at Facebook, and will be no more. I first speculated this would be the case in February, and caught a bit of flak for it. Looks like my hunch was correct — it was a chilling story of loss and the cold hand of death.
The most ghastly part of the story of Meta now is how the brand — never well-managed — is being repurposed as a heat shield for Zuckerberg. Assurances that CZI and Facebook were “separate organizations” and “different” were false, and — as many have speculated, myself included — Zuckerberg views it all as his playground, to do with as he pleases.
Our consensual naïveté has slipped away, and I think we all see Silicon Valley, Zuckerberg, and the rest for what they are — shameless business titans with little regard for anyone but themselves, willing to raid a charity for a brand to hide behind, and more concerned about covering their tails than doing the right thing.
And that’s a meta lesson even Zuckerberg can’t spin his way out of . . .