- Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Joe Rogan’s podcast that he wants “to make the time people spend in front of screens better” with the metaverse.
- Zuckerberg also said that the metaverse has the potential to improve people’s well-being.
- However, this space already faces harassment and privacy issues that reflect the company’s mishandling of its traditional social networks.
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Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook (now Meta), does not want the metaverse to be used for a long time, but rather that users take advantage of that experience efficiently.
“I don’t want people to spend more time in front of their screens,” he explained on August 25 during a Joe Rogan podcast interview. “I just want the time that people spend in front of them to be better,” she said.
Zuckerberg adds that the goal with his metaverse and virtual reality (VR) is to replace traditional television, transitioning from a screen to VR headsets.
“It can be a huge improvement in the well-being of people in general,” said the CEO.
However, the idea that the metaverse can improve the quality of life for users is perhaps a somewhat unrealistic ideal of the CEO of Meta. In fact, the long-awaited virtual space is already facing various controversies.
Privacy and security are big challenges for the Meta metaverse
Zuckerberg has previously said that privacy and security will need to be integrated into the metaverse immediately.
“Privacy and security need to be built into the metaverse from day one. Also open standards and interoperability. This will require not only novel technical work, such as support for crypto and NFT projects in the community, but also new forms of governance. Above all, we need to help build ecosystems so that more people have interests in the future and can benefit not only as consumers but also as creators,” said the CEO.
However, despite these statements, Meta does not seem to be doing much to keep the privacy and security of its users intact in this virtual space.
For starters, Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse includes a suite of body-based sensors and devices that track and anticipate movement to create a hyper-realistic digital world with little user privacy or security, according to a Business Insider analysis of hundreds of users. of patents recently granted to the giant of social networks.
In turn, there is already a history of sexual harassment on Meta’s pre-metaverse platforms.
At the end of November 2021, TheVerge reported that a Horizon Worlds beta tester reported on Facebook how a stranger “groped her avatar.”
A 43-year-old London mother was one of the most recent to speak out about sexual harassment on Meta platforms. “Within 60 seconds of joining, I was verbally and sexually harassed. Three to four male avatars, with male voices, essentially, but they virtually gang-raped my avatar and took photos,” she wrote on a December Medium post. “While I was trying to escape, they yelled at me: ‘Don’t pretend you didn’t love it’ and ‘Go masturbate in the picture’.”
In the face of this, Meta has tried to come up with ways to keep its users safe within the metaverse. Specifically, it announced a tool for users of its virtual reality platforms to maintain the limits of personal space.
Taking these issues into account, the reality is that Meta’s metaverse may only exacerbate existing problems in traditional social networks.
Zuckerberg’s claims about the advantages of the metaverse contrast with how Meta manages its social networks
Zuckerberg’s statements contrast with the complaints that Meta faces because of how harmful its products can be. Recently, a mother denounced the company for exploiting “vulnerable users” for higher profits.
In this case, the complainant’s 13-year-old daughter began using Facebook at the age of 7 and from then on began to develop emotional and social problems.
It is not the only complaint that Zuckerberg’s company faces. The Social Media Victims Law Center association jointly sued Meta, TikTok and Snap for allegedly promoting suicide among teenagers.
However, the Meta CEO defended Instagram on the podcast. According to him, image-based design is much more positive than text-based design.
“I think images tend to be a little less cutting and a little less critical than text,” he guaranteed.
‘We don’t want to amplify anger’
Zuckerberg’s defense of Instagram also contrasts with reality in court; since two other lawsuits against the social network point to it as the cause of causing eating disorders in adolescents.
The families of two girls assured that Instagram led to the appearance of anxiety, anorexia and depression in adolescents; this, they argue, led them to attempt suicide and be hospitalized on several occasions.
Zuckerberg did not discuss these specific demands during the podcast; however, he referred to the Meta platforms in terms that had nothing to do with the content of the complaints. Thus, he referred to “anger” on social networks.
“If someone reacts with some kind of anger, we never have this reaction to show it to other people,” said the CEO of Meta. “We just don’t want to amplify the anger.”
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Zuckerberg wants the metaverse to improve everyday life, despite challenges