Facebook is dead set on running the Metaverse. For the next ten years, the newly named Meta is priming the entire company on completing that mission. However, most people are becoming uncomfortable at the thought of the social media company running Internet 2.0.
One such person is Improbable Worlds CEO Herman Narula. Improbable Worlds is renowned for its game worlds tools that allow for expansive, immersive multiplayer. However, as the metaverse threatens to merge worlds, Narula has some broad thoughts.
Not against the Metaverse, just Facebook Metaverse
Speaking to The New Statesman, Narula revealed that he’s not entirely against the concept of The Metaverse. As everyone from Nvidia to Disney to Seoul attempt to create their own verses, the concept’s integration is now inevitable. But who rules that future is still undecided.
Earlier this week, Augmented Reality inventor Louis Rosenberg expressed his worries regarding an AR-led Metaverse. Narula doesn’t share these exact sentiments. However, the developer does have worries surrounding a Metaverse owned by Facebook.
“I don’t think VR is that important for the metaverse”, he told the outlet. He believes “the metaverse should not be immersion for immersion’s sake. Instead, users should new granted a sense of real world presence in virtuality where “you feel like your actions matter in the world.”
Narula doesn’t believe that this future is inherently dystopic. He claims, “the danger is not the convergence of the digital and the virtual world”. Instead, he believes the true danger is in having an untrustworthy company running the show.
Why Zuckerberg shouldn’t rule The Metaverse
The New Statesman explains that Narula’s remarks that Facebook shouldn’t run The Metaverse are not just passionate. Instead, there’s a sense of “real anger”. Narula said:
“The danger is in the continued refusal to address the elephant in the room: unelected, non-democratic, globe-spanning digital empires, housing our data, making policy choices about how you and I live our lives, and taking an indefensible tax on every transaction. Our problems with Facebook are not problems with technology. They’re just problems with Facebook. We need to categorically prevent those companies from being the people that own and run anything that even looks like a metaverse.”
Narula believes that Facebook’s history proves it is too irresponsible to run the future Internet. With mass misinformation and hate speech flooding the platform, Facebook has done very little to fight it. In fact, Meta executives have already highlighted this behaviour as an inevitability of their metaverse. Nevertheless, keeping up these posts are profitable, and Facebook likes that.
“If Facebook deletes inaccurate information, they lose data for their algorithms to crawl in order to get better at understanding how we operate,” he said. “It is not that social media shows us the ugly truth about human nature, he says, “any more than a crush at a riot is exposing something about human nature. It’s just a context, in which people are behaving the wrong way”.