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Metawers: Mark Zuckerberg’s Brave New World

Metawers: Mark Zuckerberg’s Brave New World
Mark Zuckerberg tries to create his own metawers that would result in even more centralization leading to a dystopian future.

If Facebook were human, where would he / she / they be now? In prison, most likely … for a very long time. The company’s misconduct is too numerous to list. But Facebook is not human; it is a company and it is very profitable. In fact, it is currently one of the most profitable companies in the world. Facebook’s market capitalization recently surpassed the $ 1 trillion mark.

When we think of Facebook – and more specifically of Facebook Inc. – we usually think of a social media platform which is a bit dated. However, keep in mind that Facebook owns 78 different companies, including WhatsApp and Instagram. In other words, Facebook is much more than cat videos and conspiracy theories. At the head of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Inc. is a well-oiled machine. Its power is undeniable and itss power is growing. As Fortune magazine recently noted:

“It looks like Facebook cannot be hurt – not by major ad buyers boycotting its services, not by state and federal investigations, or even by a pandemic.”

The COVID-19 pandemic may have brought the world to its knees, but Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, was not affected. Last year, his net worth was $ 82 billion; today it exceeds $ 130 billion. Now that Zuckerberg tries to create his own metawers, you can expect his value – and his power – to increase significantly.

Metawers

Before discussing metavers, it’s important to ask one important question: what the hell is metawers? From the combination of the words “meta”, which means “beyond” and “universe,” metaverse connects the elements of the physical world and connects them with virtual spaces. American writer and author, Neal Stephenson, made this term in 1992. Two decades later, not limited to the realm of science fiction, the metawers are almost above us.

In this wonderful new world, the lines between physical reality and the digital world will increasingly blur. Non-exchangeable tokens (NFT) and cryptocurrencies are already part of metawers, but in the future, in real metawers, they will be linked to you, the user. Elon Musk wants to transport us to Mars, but Zuckerberg wants to transport us and put us on the internet. Literally.

In a recent interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg described metawers as “an embodied internet in which, instead of just watching content, you are in it.” We will be tenants in the constantly expanding Zuckerberg’s house. The rent will be paid in the form of data. This is not a comforting thought. As Toby Tremayne of Wired noted, Big Tech companies such as Facebook “have become walled gardens increasingly centralized and controlled by corporate interests.” Facebook already “owns WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus,” which gives them “ownership of our friends, our behavior, our gait, eye movement, and emotional state.” Soon, if Zuckerberg makes his plans reality, Facebook Inc. will have even more control over our lives. I don’t argue that this should comfort anyone but Zuckerberg.

To access the metawers, biometric data will be required. Eye scans, voice recordings, heart rate etc. All this information will be collected by Facebook Inc. What will remain with this data? Considering Facebook has a nasty history of breaching user data, this is an important question to ask. What rights, if any, will apply in the metaverse? If my avatar steals an asset, such as digital artwork, from another user, will I be penalized? What if I live in Canada but my victim lives in Cambodia? If you think the crypto world has its problems with crime, which it does, imagine the problems metawers will present to us. Can we trust Facebook to oversee metawers? Of course not. On the other hand, who can we trust to guard the unknown? World Governments? Probably not.

13-08-2021, Mr Advice TEAM


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