This photograph taken on October 28, 2021 shows the META logo on a laptop screen in Moscow as Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the parent company’s name is being changed to “Meta” to represent a future beyond just its troubled social network. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 2:38 PM PT – Tuesday, November 9, 2021
A Facebook whistleblower says the company’s new rebranded “Metaverse” would force people to give up even more of their personal information.
In an interview this week, Frances Haugen, a former product manager for Facebook, said the new virtual reality world would require users to put more sensors in their homes and in the workplace. She also expressed concern over its addictiveness, which may encourage people to unplug from their own realities.
The former Facebook employee said the company is continuing to disregard transparency and prioritizing profits over safety. She noted in her interview that she was shocked by the rebrand, pointing to the money spent on 10,000 new engineers to work on video games, but no further resources to keep women safe.
“A classic public health crisis communication technique is that if you don’t like the conversation, you try to change the conversation. I’ve heard from multiple sources that they rushed the launch of the Metaverse because they wanted to change the conversation,” said Haugen. “They wanted to no longer talk about safety on their platforms. Instead, they want to talk about video games. I think, like it is a distraction. Unquestionably, it is a distraction.”
Last month, Haugen leaked documents to authorities regarding Facebook’s questionable business practices and has testified publicly against the company in the U.S. and in Europe.