And while global lawmakers and regulators have been dancing around reining in the social media giant for several years, the reality is that Facebook barely loses a beat. In fact, their revenues always increase - despite taking dips after immediate Congressional grillings. This is so because the powers that be at Facebook (and on both sides of the political aisle) understand how the dance is scripted; one step backward, two steps forward.
Consider the following, as reported in Forbes on Oct. 4, 2021,
"Investor confidence in Facebook weakened a bit on Monday amid continued political pressure and a rare lengthy outage of the company’s apps, sending shares down 4.8% and zapping away billions from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune....
"But Facebook stock has proven surprisingly durable over the past few years of scandals, including last year’s ad boycott and the January 6 riots. Shares remain near record highs, closing Monday at $326, a more than 150% increase in five years...."
It is not for nothing that after an avalanche of highly negative revelations - not to mention the exposure given within Israel National News, most recently, Can something be done about Facebook blocking? (October 17, 2021) - Facebook is "re-thinking" its branding, as will be amply evidenced below. Its messaging, alike.
But before we get too excited, let us take a step back to consider an important lesson in life; one which should be imparted to upcoming generations: when dealing with a seemingly impossible, intractable, and insurmountable challenge, never give up or give in, that is, when right is on your side!
As it happens, in investigative (and battle front) parlance, what the above really amounts to is a very tried and true calculus: with maximum force multipliers exerted upon the target, inevitably and eventually, movement will follow, be it incremental or otherwise. In no small measure, the aforementioned critical lesson was learned by this investigative journalist from years of working with hard-charging counter-terrorism professionals - in efforts to expose Islamic jihadists, most especially, those targeting the U.S. and Israel. Moreover, whereas the target may be different, the tactics can be adjusted accordingly.
On October 20, 2021, it was reported at The Verge (a widely-read technology blog operated under Vox Media), Facebook plans new group name to revamp image.
"Facebook Inc, under fire from regulators and lawmakers over its business practices, is planning to rebrand itself with a new group name that focuses on the metaverse, the Verge reported on Tuesday.....
"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up the metaverse, a digital world where people can move between different devices and communicate in a virtual environment, since July, and the group has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and working on AR glasses and wristband technologies....
"Facebook said it does not comment on "rumor or speculation."
"If true, the rebranding would make sense as the core Facebook business becomes less important to the group and it seeks to revamp an image tarnished by regulatory and legal scrutiny of how it handles user safety and hate speech, analysts said.
"It reflects the broadening out of the Facebook business. And then, secondly, I do think that Facebook's brand is probably not the greatest given all of the events of the last three years or so," internet analyst James Cordwell at Atlantic Equities said.
Facebook is under wide-ranging scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators over its content moderation practices and harms linked to its platforms, with internal documents leaked by a whistleblower forming the basis for a U.S. Senate hearing last week.
"Having a different parent brand will guard against having this negative association transferred into a new brand, or other brands that are in the portfolio," said Shankha Basu, associate professor of marketing at University of Leeds.....
Make no mistake. There are two tracks barreling forward at the same time, and even though seemingly divergent, they are not.
In the main, although the game-plan appears to be a re-orienting of the company away from Facebook's tarnished image, little, per se, has changed when it comes to the core policies within. One way or another, radical left views will dominate across its platforms. However, its "messaging" will be more subtle and palatable for those who are raising a ruckus, whatever their reasons may be. Resultant, this so-called tilt to the metaverse, volte-face, if you will, relieves some of the pressure, and lends Facebook insiders the opportunity and breathing room to regroup.
Even so, but for the massive pressure applied, as documented within, this tempered muting would not have transpired. And while it is certainly the case that Zuckerberg has an intense interest in the virtual environment, rest assured, his "baby" is Facebook. This is no small matter.
All of which demonstrates and segues back to what can happen when enough voices are raised, and, as always, when attendant action plans are implemented. To be silent is to agree.
Adina Kutnicki is an investigative journalist, living in Israel since 2008. Her work concentrates on militant Islamic jihad and its western knock-on effects. She is the co-author of BANNED: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad, She blogs at: Adina Kutnicki, A Zionist & Conservative Blog (www.adinakutnicki.com).