Meta Platforms Inc. META shares ended Thursday’s session down about 24.6% after the social media giant reported mixed quarterly results and issued weak guidance. More importantly, the company’s determined move to increase investments in the still-hazy metaverse was met with skepticism.
What Happened: Self-proclaimed CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined the chorus to comment on Meta stock’s precipitous fall on Thursday.
sure laugh at zuckerberg's stock crash but remember that in five years he's gonna own your eyeballs and pause the ads every time you blink pic.twitter.com/607z7g7iQW
Snowden has in the past slammed Meta’s metaverse foray. In a tweet in August 2021, he said Facebook’s vision of the future is seen in how they steal and repackage the VRchat concept, adding that the company traps you in a “low-rez workplace and cut off your legs.” Snowden said he thought that VR/AR meetings will likely be a killer app ever since he was forced to remain in exile.
“But this? This ain’t it, and Facebook has gone to extreme lengths to prove it cannot be trusted to respect the boundaries required for private meetings," Snowden added.
He was also critical of Facebook’s name change to Meta, suggesting that name doesn’t matter but what the company does matters.
“Paperwork doesn’t change the nature of a thing,” Snowden had said.
Snowden has been a crusader for privacy protection and therefore privacy issues at Facebook have always not gone down well with him.
Is Metaverse A Threat To Humanity? Scientists and researchers have been warning of the threat metaverse poses to humanity.
“The metaverse has huge implications - it comes with fantastic advantages and terrifying dangers,” Dr. David Reid, professor of AI and Spatial Computing at Liverpool Hope University, said in a statement late last year.
Many current MR prototype systems have face, eye, body and hand tracking tech and most have sophisticated cameras, with some even incorporating “electroencephalogram technology” to pick up brainwave patterns, the professor said.
“In other words everything you say, manipulate, look at, or even think about can be monitored in MR,” he added.
While noting that people worry about the influence Twitter can have on politics, Reid said social media pile-ons, or online bullying, could be even more dangerous in the metaverse.
Meta’s metaverse foray was to deflect the bad press stemming from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony, Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor said at a Web summit in Portugal in November, Fortune reported. He reportedly called for stricter regulation and scrutiny of the tech industry over safety and privacy measures.
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