As Facebook faces a firestorm for changing its corporate name to Meta amid heightened scrutiny over how the tech titan harms humanity, Greek economist and Progressive International co-founder Yanis Varoufakis on Friday called out the company for stealing the moniker of a global anti-capitalist think tank.
Varoufakis, in a tweet, took aim at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who announced the new name at a conference Thursday, as the social media company contends with widespread criticism of its practices thanks to revelations from former-employees-turned-whistleblowers.
"Hands off our mέta, Our Center for Postcapitalist Civilization, Mr. Zuckerberg," tweeted the former Greek finance minister, who is on the think tank's advisory board. "You, and your minions, wouldn't recognize civilization even if it hit you with a bargepole."
The mission page of mέta's website explains that "we are already in the early stages of an era that can only be described by that which it succeeds: we live in postcapitalist times. They may turn out dystopic, utopic, or anything in between."
"Through art and research, argument, and poetry," the site says, "mέta (the abbreviation of our Our Center for Postcapitalist Civilization) works to break with a dystopic present to imagine the world anew—to grasp our present historical moment so as to help radical progressive movements find a path from the emergent dismal postcapitalism to one worth fighting, and living, for."
Along with Varoufakis, other advisory board members include scholar Noam Chomsky, musician Brian Eno, filmmaker Ken Loach, economist James K. Galbraith, and philosopher Slavoj Žižek.
Hands off our mέta, our Centre for Postcapitalist Civilisation https://t.co/t9aIR0ahSC, Mr Zuckerberg. You, and your minions wouldn't recognise civilisation even if it hit you with a bargepole pic.twitter.com/aleOplqo12— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) October 28, 2021
In addition to the social network Facebook, Meta also owns the photo- and video-sharing platform Instagram as well as the messaging application WhatsApp.
Meta is such a low effort, first draft name that multiple consulting companies definitely got paid millions of dollars to come up with— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) October 28, 2021
As Common Dreams reported Thursday, while Zuckerberg celebrated the new corporate name for the company, tech ethicists and branding professionals warned the world not to be "fooled" by the move.