A Meta Lesson of Meta

Killing Meta.org and betraying assurances about CZI both came easily to the Zuck

A Meta Lesson of Meta

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.

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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 . . .


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