Facebook and the metaverse
In the Sci-Fi series Star Trek, we can see a prediction of a future where people emerge in artificially generated environments on the so-called Holodecks. In most cases these holodecks are used for entertainment. For example, to make virtual trips to earth while being millions of lightyears away from our beautiful planet. Or for training and simulations.
The entire holodeck experience is made so realistic that the participants are no longer able to notice that whatever happens around them is just a very advanced computer simulation. To make sure that the people on the holodecks are safe and secure, there are safety protocols which prevent harm, even when using the holodecks for interstellar combat training!
Let us keep that part in mind: safety protocols to ensure that everyone is safe and secure. Essential in a virtual world where physical and virtual reality become one, and computer-generated surroundings and interactions directly impact what happens.
In the past years, Facebook has been flirting with the idea of a virtual reality, of course controlled solely by Facebook, in which all its platforms and services come together to surround its users with Facebook controlled content and events. Images of conferences with everyone wearing a Virtual Reality Headset provided by Facebook while Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks past them with a smile were just an indicator of Facebook’s ambitions.
At the same time, Facebook has been working hard to attempt to expand their access to a market where they have failed so far: children! Kids hardly care about Facebook, they lost interest in Instagram, and WhatsApp is considered boring compared to their favorite apps. SnapChat marched into the teens ecosystem and continues to have a very high popularity. Facebook made several failed attempts to replicate their success, because whomever controls the kids controls the future.
TikTok’s video platform took the teenies market even faster than SnapChat did, and Facebook again tried to copy their success story by adding something not even remotely close to their Instagram platform. Failed, of course. So, Facebook made another attempt to launch a version of Instagram that is specifically targeting kids and teens, because Facebook can not and will not allow any group to survive outside the Facebook ecosystem.
Especially not kids and teens, who are far easier to manipulate. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen made crystal clear that Facebook Executives are fully aware of the negative influence their platforms have on kids and teens, and how harmful this is. And despite knowing this and not implementing improvements to prevent such harm, Facebook continues to try to gain control over what we all consider the future: kids and teens!
German activists demonstrated several years ago already how morally, and ethically bankrupt Facebook truly is by posting a picture of a topless model and an actor holding a sign with hate speech, and the description “Only one violates the Facebook policies!”. Every time this image was posted it was deleted by Facebook for violating their “community guidelines” by posting nudity…
Apparently, Facebook did and does not care about hate speech in any form as long as it generates views, and it does. They cowardly hide behind not being able to identify hate speech and opens a can of foul “supporting freedom of speech” on every occasion. It didn’t come as a surprise to learn that, by direct order of Mr. Zuckerberg himself, Facebook refused to prevent its algorithms from preferring conspiracy theories about the corona virus and vaccines, because it generates views and that is all that matters to Facebook!
Imagine a holodeck like experience controlled by Facebook. A virtually augmented reality that is solely under the control of Facebook. Every interaction is controlled by Facebook. Every displayed and submerged content is controlled by Facebook. Every interaction leads to data, personal data, which is processed and controlled by Facebook. Each and every move leads to Facebook knowing more and using that knowledge to generate more profit.
The Facebook that is aware of its negative and harmful impact on kids and teens. The same Facebook that aims to expand its access and control over kids and teens. The Facebook that allows hate speech as long as it generates views. The Facebook that prefers conspiracy theories about the pandemic and whatnot as long as it generates views, and with that, profits. That Facebook in control of a virtual reality where we should all emerge. A metaverse powered by Facebook, where the only safety control is based on the revenue the experiences will generate.
Meta by Facebook!