Facebook to Change Name

Whistleblower Fraces Haugen talks to UK lawmakers about the hateful effects Facebook can have.

Julia Nikhinson

Whistleblower Fraces Haugen talks to UK lawmakers about the hateful effects Facebook can have.

Chase Kim, Photojournalist

In the light of the Facebook whistleblower and the incriminating evidence released, Mark Zuckerberg decided to take the most logical next step: renaming Facebook. The rumors were first reported by Alex Heath of The Verge, who claims to have received information first-hand from a reputable source.

There’s a lot that still remains unknown about the name, which is highly guarded, but it may focus on Zuckerberg’s dream of the “metaverse,” the idea of a fully virtual world. The company claims that they’ve been using Facebook-developed and virtual reality-operated Horizons Workplace for the past months as an alternative to traditional video conferencing – and that the new name will reflect this development.

It’s similar to Google changing its name to Alphabet in 2015 to rebrand itself as something other than a search engine while the company focused on other endeavors. 

Though not explicitly stated, it’s also clear that the company hopes the name change will take some of the heat off Facebook for recent events. Marlboro changed its name to Altria in 2001 after facing lashback, ValuJet became AirTran after a deadly plane crash, and Facebook seems to be the next in line after what Kinchu Ha (9) calls a “scandalous scandal.”

The two ideas intertwine to form the message that Facebook seems to be sending to the world: that they’ve changed from a social media company that uses algorithms to exploit children to an innovative, futuristic company focusing on the future of communication.

People aren’t really buying it. CNN posted an article titled, “Facebook, don’t change your name — change your CEO,” that highlighted just how useless a name change would be after  facing months of scandal and urged for Zuckerberg’s resignation instead.

It’s also unclear how Facebook, the app, will continue. While it itself may be renamed, much more likely is that it will become a sub-section under the newly branded company. Doing so wouldn’t make much sense from the “renaming to save face” standpoint because keeping the app around, at least under the same name, contradicts the idea that Facebook is turning a new leaf. “The one app that brought us all the hate and just may have led to this name change? We’re keeping that around, you know, just ‘cause.”

Call it what you want: a nifty PR move, an honest attempt at becoming honest, corruption at the highest standard – there’s still no doubt that a lot of change is coming to Facebook and the new name will undoubtedly reflect that.

Because so many social “mediums” are owned by Facebook and because these play such a large role in a high schooler’s life, the name change (but more importantly what it will bring about) will unquestionably affect many here at YL high.