Serious error? Facebook’s New Name Meta Means Death in Hebrew | Meta
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Facebook’s name change has been the subject of mockery on social media, and perhaps nowhere more than in Israel: Meta sounds like the Hebrew word for “death.”
As images of Facebook’s name superimposed on a gravestone were shared online, tech expert Dr Nirit Weiss-Blatt wrote in a tweet directed to the Facebook communications team: “In Hebrew, * Meta * means * Death *.” The author of The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication added, “The Jewish community will ridicule this name for years to come. Meta sounds like the feminine form of the Hebrew word.
Another Twitter user asked the question, “Maybe this is a message?” Disclaimer: I am not a conspirator. And another wrote, “Maybe Facebook (I guess Meta now?) Should have had some rebranding discussion groups. #FacebookDeath“
Israeli emergency relief organization Zaka – whose work includes collecting human remains to ensure a proper Jewish burial – was quoted as reassuring its Twitter followers: “Don’t worry, here we are.
This is not the first time that brands have been lost in translation. When KFC first came to China in the 1980s with its slogan “good finger lick”, it was not greeted enthusiastically by the locals. The Mandarin translation was “eat your fingers”. However, no harm has been done and KFC is one of the largest fast food chains in the country.
Facebook’s rebranding on Thursday drew laughs of a different kind from a lesser-known Canadian industrial materials company whose share price jumped in an apparent case of mistaken identity. Reuters reported that shares of Nova Scotia-based Meta Materials jumped 6% in opening trades on the Nasdaq on Friday, after a 26% rise in after-hours trading. Facebook shares rose 1.6%.
Meta Materials specializes in the design of materials used in industries such as consumer electronics and aerospace and has an estimated market value of $ 1.3 billion (£ 950 million). It was not clear whether the rise in shares was really caused by the similarity of names. A Reddit community user dedicated to the discussion of Meta Materials stocks asked, “Is the (after hours) price action real, or are people buying MMAT thinking they are are getting Facebook for really cheap?
Whatever the reasons, the company was quick to celebrate its unexpected windfall. George Palikaras, CEO of Meta Materials, joined in the fun by tweeting: “On behalf of @Metamaterialtec I cordially welcome @Facebook to the #metaverse. “
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