Social media platforms have been the crux of modern day communication. Whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, WhatsApp, or the like, our connection with people is dependent on these platforms.
However, especially in recent years, how social media platforms have handled their newfound influence has been questionable to say the least. From obvious cases of censoring, engagement seeking algorithms, the promotion of negative based content, increased social anxiety and an heigented feelings of isolation, the side effects of social media read like the warnings of a new black labeled drug.
However, none of this is new. Everyone has known the dangers of social media. Countless studies have been performed and the conclusions are bleak.
Facebook has been one of the primary service providers for social media. If Facebook didn’t start a currently used social media service, they wore other companies down until they could buy them out.
Over the past several years, Facebook has come under fire for, what I will call, varying levels of social attacks. It seems as though every other month Mark Zuckerberg has been in front of a jury testifying, or rather cleverly avoiding, accusations of blatant misuse of power.
Thus, Facebook has become a cautionary tail when it comes to data, privacy, and tracking. With all the negative PR surrounding social media platforms in general, and a special justified hatred for Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook social manipulation team did what any other company would do when their name has been tainted–rebrand.
On Oct. 28, Facebook excitedly unveiled both their name, and corporation, “direction change”. Welcome to the Metaverse everyone. An interconnected internet landscape which goes beyond the standard boring 2D world and offers you all of the social media wonder in a new 3D environment. A place where you can disconnect from reality even further!
According to USA Today, the Meta platform is, “a combination of multiple elements of technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality and video where users ‘live’ within a digital universe.” Meta (Facebook) hopes to take virtual reality to the next level with hopes to transform the internet into a more immersive experience with everything from meetings, to concerts being virtually streamed. However, according to the same article, “it could take five to 10 years before the key features of the metaverse become mainstream.”
Therefore, as if it isn’t obvious, the name change is nothing more than an alias to escape the legal nightmare, and public hatred Facebook has dumped on themselves with the promise of something new to catch the public eye. With the unveiling of Meta, Frances Haugen spoke out against the new platform arguing that the platform will lurch on people’s data and privacy more than ever before.
Outside of being heavily addictive and require many more sensors to be placed in peoples homes, Haugen stated in an interview with The Associated Press, “If your employer decides they’re now a metaverse company, you have to give out way more personal data to a company that’s demonstrated that it lies whenever it is in its best interests.”
Thus, Facebook’s answer to more privacy and better ethical approaches to social media was more of the same Facebook in a different package. They have not learned from their mistakes. They do not care to create a platform which will provide a good social service. They only care about covering up their mistakes, ensuring your dependence on them and making money from your data. Facebook’s change to Meta is a cowardly move, but do you really expect anything better from a sleazy company who gets paid billions of dollars to manipulate you. Beware of Meta, it’s the trojan horse of social media– once you let it in there is no going back.
Source: Associated press and USA Today