On Facebook’s New Name

Once, when I was at Beyonce concert, she was hoisted from the main stage and placed on a round platform in the middle of the crowd where she performed the song, Say My Name. At one point, she paused, held the microphone towards a guy pressed against the circular stage and asked, “What’s your name, honey?” And in a breaking, excited, and borderline hysterical voice, the guy answered, “N..n..n…i..g..e..l.” She pulled the mic back and said, “Ok, Nigel. Say my name.” And Nigel said, “Beyonce.” And in a state of otherworldly reverence that has barely dissipated in the many years since that moment, so did I. So I beg to differ with Shakespeare’s take, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Instead, I tend be more aligned with Confucius who argued that, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” (Ironically, using social media could mark the end of wisdom.) This all leads us, naturally, to news from The Verge that Facebook is planning to rebrand the company with a new name. My first thought was that they should change the name to Philip Morris. Or maybe Enron, or Lehman Brothers. But then I realized it would be even more timely and awesome if the company just changed its name to Ye. Of course, our current displeasure with Facebook is more related to its algorithm than its name. Or as Beyonce and Destiny’s Child foreshadowed so many years ago, “Say my name, say my name. You actin’ kinda shady.” The company apparently wants to create a new brand to account for its move into the metaverse business. Because of this, and the company’s population (which towers over nation states), maybe they should change the name to Facebook Universe. The initials would certainly be on brand.

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