By Nicole Lyn Pesce
Twitter users never Meta Facebook joke that they could resist.
Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +1.47% CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that his company, which includes the signature social network as well as Instagram and WhatsApp, will be rebranding as a metaverse player called Meta. And it should come as little surprise that the name was promptly roasted on rival social-media site Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -2.74% , leading “Meta” and riffs on it such as “Meh-ta” to trend throughout the afternoon.
But some folks just straight came out swinging — including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The New York Democrat compared Facebook going “Meta” to a cancer metastasizing, or spreading.
“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!’” she tweeted.
Several branding experts told MarketWatch that Facebook’s name change appeared to be an obvious “attempt at distraction” as the beleaguered brand faces damning whistleblower allegations that it put profits before people, as well as a number of lawsuits, investigations and proposed legislation to regulate its platforms.
And many people on Twitter seem to agree.
And plenty of boldface names piled on to note that “Meta” isn’t making everything better.
And then there were the memes and the “Meta” wordplay.
Investors took the news more in stride: Facebook’s stock ended 1.5% higher Thursday after the announcement was made.
But to be honest, there’s probably no name that Zuckerberg could have come up with for his company that would have pleased everyone. Even just the rumor last week that Facebook was mulling a new name for its umbrella of companies spurred people to suggest mocking monikers such as “Fakebook,” “Bookface” and “Faceplant,” which were all trending on Twitter last Wednesday.