To the Editor;
What does the rebadging of Facebook as Meta mean? Mark Zuckerberg has published a “Founders letter” (https://about.fb.com/news/2021/10/founders-letter/) and some of the ideas raised are worrying.
There is already been discussion of the way Facebook works and the concerns that people have with it. I had a short experience with it and decided I wanted to live in the real world where no one cared what I was doing or kept data on me.
The letter reports “The next platform will be even more immersive”. As an ex-teacher this is concerning given how often students were already immersed in Facebook and other social media, even during class time. The promise of being able to “get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create” online is the exact opposite of what I want to do at the moment after having come out of lockdown. I want to actually do physical things beyond my house and garden and not online. With the experience of doing meta-analysis during university studies I see Meta as the ‘big picture’, often obtained by reading numerous papers on a topic and examining the combined results. As the promise seems to be to offer more opportunities for online connections will there be more online data collection, more connections examined and more information collated.
As Shakespeare said in his great tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” and it is unlikely Meta will smell any better.
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