Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen's concerns regarding the social media giant now known as Meta extend beyond the company's current offerings — Haugen worries Meta's upcoming "metaverse," its interconnected virtual reality world, will be "addictive," will "rob" people of their personal information, and create "a whole new set of dangers," writes The Associated Press.
"So beyond the fact that these immersive environments are extremely addictive and they encourage people to unplug from the reality we actually live," Haugen told AP, "I'm also worried about it on the level of — the metaverse will require us to put many, many more sensors in our homes and our workplaces," meaning users must give up more date and more privacy.
Haugen also alleged Meta's recent metaverse publicity push to be a thinly-veiled attempt at speeding along the news cycle, after internal company documents she provided both journalists and Congress publically revealed "deep-seated" problems at her former employer.
"If you don't like the conversation, you try to change the conversation," Haugen told AP, though she doesn't think this to be a particularly moral or effective strategy, considering the scrutiny the company is already facing.
"They're going to hire 10,000 engineers to work on video games when they haven't actually gotten safety right on their main product," she said, which she believes to be a "failure of leadership," specifically on the part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Unless he wants to prioritize the safety of the platform, he should step aside and let someone else focus on that."
For its part, Meta denied any attempt at using the metaverse for positive PR, and "stressed that it's working to responsibly build" the product, per AP. Read more at The Associated Press.