Facebook is getting criticized even after rebranding into Meta

Shortly after Facebook announced that it is changing its corporate name to Meta to better represent its focus on building a metaverse Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called Facebook a “cancer to democracy” in a tweet.

On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted “Meta as in “we are a cancer to democracy metastasizing into a global surveillance and propaganda machine for boosting authoritarian regimes and destroying civil society… for profit!”

It is worth mentioning that in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has been one of Facebook’s loudest critics, and even in the past she has called the company a threat to democracy. Back in 2019, when lawmakers first started to criticize Facebook’s market dominance, she tweeted, “Facebook may have its own problems, but it’s increasingly starting to look like our society (namely, our democracy) has a Facebook problem.”

Earlier this month, Wall Street Journal published several internal articles provided by whistleblower Frances Haugen. After a few weeks, Haugen testified before the Senate Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on consumer protection, outlining how platforms like Instagram harm children and teens. All these ignited and renewed interest among lawmakers to regulate the tech giant and therefore, for some time the media giant was facing lots of heat.

Facebook refused to publish further internal research documents after Haugen’s leak. Still, Facebook faced yet another round of heat because reporters gained access to additional Haugen documents. These reports motivated lawmakers to pursue further legislative action on Facebook.

In a tweet last Thursday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who is leading measures to protect child privacy online wrote “You can run, but you can’t hide Facebook. A new nom de plume may confuse & distract, but won’t erase years of devious practices & disregard for privacy, kids’ well-being, spreading hate, & genocide.”

Similarly, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the top Republican on Blumenthal’s subcommittee said “Changing Facebook’s name doesn’t change what you’ve done, Mark.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was the first to call on the federal government to break up Facebook and other tech giants as part of her 2020 presidential platform. Warren reinforced her early points in Thursday’s tweet where she wrote “Facebook changing their corporate name to Meta isn’t going to change the underlying facts. They’re a monopoly. They crush the competition. And they refuse to control the spread of misinformation and harmful content on their site. We need to break up Facebook.”

Michael Turner
Michael Turner is an environmental activist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.