by Lev Hladush
Richard Matthew Stallman, an American free software movement activist and programmer, has said that social media sites don’t have users – they have useds. The primary reasons for sites like Facebook to exist is to generate revenue for the company and they have two main ways of doing so. First way is by using their webpage as a terminal for advertisements. Second way is gathering as much data about their consumers or users as possible and then selling to any interested company.
In the first case, to maximize revenue, users are manipulated to stay online, giving as much eyeball time to the ads as possible. Algorithms that allow specific targeting in order to cause strong emotions to keep people engaged, dopamine-inducing things like count of your subscribers or likes on your posts. All of it has the sole purpose – consuming more of your time. Thus, converting your time into profit(don’t forget that 98% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertisers)
In the second case, things get a bit trickier. Facebook doesn’t sell your data directly. Instead, what they do sell is access to a platform that makes it as easy as possible for advertisers to reach you based on your interests. And creation of Metaverse(which has already been discussed in numerous posts previously on technoblog, so I believe there is no need to explain what is it exactly) allows to gather even more data. And more data makes good business sense. But there are (in my opinion, well-founded) fears that the new data we create in the Metaverse could lead to a privacy nightmare. For example, Facebook made a big deal about the fact that it’s not going to be doing facial recognition on photos that you upload to Facebook anymore. But it hasn’t said it’s not going to do facial recognitions in Metaverse. For sure, generating more data is not necessarily harmful, but it could give companies like Facebook an unprecedented amount of control.
Knowing this all, the scenario shown in this video seems quite believable.