Last year could be called one of the worst years ever for Facebook, now Meta. Described as an “army under siege”, the Tech Giant was under attack from all angles amid a huge rebranding to escape worldwide vitriol.
Despite a name change and a new logo, that vitriol has not disappeared. After months of rebranding, Meta is still the company that wanted to target preteen girls for social media, created a highly racist AI and is trying to realise a dystopian Metaverse.
Frances Haugen says Zuckerberg needs to go
In an interview with Bloomberg, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen said that Meta will never recover in the state that its in now. Last year, the whistleblower leaked tens of thousands of documents highlighting some truly awful practices at the company, much to Facebook’s dismay.
Haugen’s documents revealed that Facebook was aware that its products caused severe mental distress in young girls and encouraged its algorithms to keep pushing in that direction. Other documents showed knowledge of dangerous misinformation with no plans to combat. That’s just the top of the iceberg.
In the interview, Haugen explained that Facebook’s problems stem from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s views on social media. Zuckerberg, who originally created Facebook to rate the attractiveness of college girls, is in full control of the company.
“No one, but Mark Zuckerberg can control Facebook right now,” she said. “Mark has been surrounded by people since he was 19 years old who told him he was doing a great job. We can demonize Zuckerberg, but it's not going to make him heal faster."
The whistleblower explained that the CEO “genuinely believes that Facebook is just a mirror" of reality”. Zuckerberg claims that people “are unhappy because you can see it now."
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The Metaverse diversion
In the interview, Haugen explained that Zuckerberg’s Metaverse plans are a very expensive diversion. With the company under attack for its algorithms that push towards extremist reactions, making everything about the Metaverse is the way to avoid scrutiny.
Haugen explained that the technology was used as a diversion internally before it was even announced. When the whistleblower brought up issues of genocide fuelled by Facebook algorithms, he would discuss the Metaverse.
"The fact that he [Zuckerberg] doubled down on the metaverse when I brought up issues around genocide instead of actually making these systems safe. I think that's a dereliction of duty,” she told the outlet. “I don't think the company can recover as long as he is the leader of it."