James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Facebook set to get new name in major rebrand
20 October 2021, 09:35
Facebook is set to be renamed under a planned rebrand of the company.
The rebrand, first reported by the Verge, would put the Facebook app under an umbrella company with a new name, which would oversee the social media network alongside other apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
It is being likened to the Google rebrand under the Alphabet umbrella.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly set to announce the change at Facebook's annual 'Connect' conference on October 28, although the new name could be unveiled sooner.
The report in the Verge, which cites a source with direct knowledge of the matter, also claims the move is part of a shift from Mr Zuckerberg to ensure people see the company as a "metaverse company" instead of just a social media platform.
It has been a rough few months for the social media giant, with Facebook - and other company-owned apps - suffering an unprecedented six-hour outage at the beginning of the month.
The company has also come under fire for failing to effectively tackle online abuse.
It was in the spotlight, alongside other social media platforms such as Twitter, for not cracking down hard enough on online racist abuse after the Euro final.
Social media companies were urged to "step up and take accountability" by the Football Association (FA), who added that the apps should not be home to such "abhorrent" abuse.
It resulted in Prime Minister Boris Johnson meeting with industry bosses to discuss the issue.
More recently, there have been pushes to crack down on abuse posted from anonymous accounts in the wake of the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess.
Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari on Monday, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government needed to 'look again' at the issue of social media abuse and said that that, whilst free speech was at the "heart of our democracy", it was "wrong" to use online platforms to direct abuse at MPs.
"The big challenge I think is what happens outside of the House of Commons chamber and particularly online," said the Justice Secretary.
"Of course it's not just politicians, but I'm very conscious of female colleagues of mine who, with the abuse they get online, have decided to come off Twitter and there will be others outside of the political world who have been in the same position - campaigners, journalists, others - and I think it's absolutely wrong."
He went on: "We want an open, vigorous debate, free speech is crucial, it's at the heart of our democracy.
"But those using the platforms to abuse other people, particularly in these vociferous terms, and I think that's wrong.
"And we do need to look again."
He highlighted in particular the issue of anonymous social media accounts, saying: "Those that are using the veil of anonymity as a platform for abuse, there's something wrong with that."