Facebook’s’ Meta ‘rebrand means’ death’ in Hebrew, the Israelis’ scornful name

Israelis and Hebrew speakers around the world have mocked the recent change of Facebook Inc’s name to “Meta”.

That name, in Hebrew, is the inflection of the feminine form of “death” in both the present and the past, causing many social media users who speak the language to ridicule the rebranding, leading to the hashtag ‘#FacebookDead’.

The Israeli emergency rescue unit Zaka, whose task is to collect human remains to ensure proper burials, shared their bid for the rebrand last week and tweeted: “Don’t worry, we are up and running. #FacebookDead” in Hebrew.

Other Twitter users had shared their bid for the name change, with one person writing that “she wanted to open a Facebook account but told that the website was dead now.”

Another user said that “someone did not do their branding and translation research.”

The social media company announced the name change during a press conference on Thursday, where Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new name seeks to begin building the “metaverse”, which is described as a shared virtual environment hoping to become the next big computer platform.

The official Twitter account, although not relevant to the Hebrew language, also jokingly reacted to the name change, saying: “BIG NEWS lol jk still Twitter.”

Zuckerberg, who was brought up as a reformer, did not respond to the online scandal.

This is not the only recent controversial news that the social media conglomerate has found itself in, as recent reports confirmed that Facebook has failed to politicize offensive content, hate speech, inflammatory rhetoric and misinformation on its platform. The company has reportedly hired workers who possessed the language skills and knowledge required to detect offensive posts from users around the world.

Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, California (credit: STEPHEN LAM / REUTERS)Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, California (credit: STEPHEN LAM / REUTERS)

Facebook had also made headlines earlier this month when the site, along with Instagram and WhatsApp, crashed in about six hours.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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