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Clash of the Tech Titans: Twitter CEO Sees Facebook Metaverse as ‘Dystopian Corporate Dictatorship’

© Photo : Mark Zuckerberg / FacebookMark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg   - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.10.2021
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Facebook Inc., the tech giant whose social media flagship service has nearly three billion global monthly users, is reportedly planning to rebrand to focus on its so-called ‘metaverse’ – a vision of an online world accessible to users through technologies including virtual and augmented reality.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has endorsed a tweet attacking Facebook’s "metaverse" concept and calling it a potential route to dystopia.
In a tweet on Thursday, Israeli-based blockchain researcher, developer, and consultant Udi Wertheimer suggested that Facebook’s “insistence on launching a cryptocurrency + becoming a ‘metaverse’ means one thing” – that Mark Zuckerberg has “had enough of running a company” and “wants to run a country.”

Wertheimer pointed out that “the word ‘metaverse was coined by” American science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel ‘Snow Crash,' with the term initially meant to describe “a virtual world owned by corporations where end users were treated as citizens in a dystopian corporate dictatorship.”

“What if Neal was right?” Wertheimer asked.
Dorsey retweeted the tweet, saying “NARRATOR: He was.”
The Twitter CEO did not elaborate on his conclusions.
Facebook first revealed that it was working on a social virtual reality world in 2019, and began formally using the term "metaverse" this summer.
This week, the social media giant announced plans to create thousands of new positions across European Union countries to build its metaverse over the coming years, suggesting that the metaverse concept is about making “interacting online…much closer to the experience of interacting in person.”
Facebook promises that no one company will own the metaverse and that it will remain "open and interoperable." The company estimates that it will take between 10 and 15 years to get fully up and running.
On Tuesday, a source told The Verge that Facebook Inc. will be changing its name next week to reflect on its focus on “building the metaverse.” An announcement on the matter is formally expected to be made by Zuckerberg at the company’s annual Connect conference on 28 October. The rebrand is expected to result in the creation of a parent company that oversees Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other platforms in Facebook Inc.’s online empire. Google carried out a similar rebranding in 2015, when Alphabet, Inc. was formed to oversee the search engine giant, YouTube, and other divisions.
Dorsey’s followers were divided about what to make of his apparent endorsement of Wertheimer’s criticisms of the metaverse, with a few expressing support, but many others pointing out that Twitter has its own problems when it comes to free speech.
“Is Twitter better? Shadowbans and algorithms make this a dystopia too. It’s not a place for progress of the human species,” one user suggested.
Others appeared to cautiously endorse the metaverse concept, so long is that it couldn’t be controlled by a single corporation, or kicked off a debate about what the difference is between the “virtual world owned by corporations” outlined in Stephenson’s novel and the real world that already exists today. Others expressed concerns about the potential of a metaverse to stunt the development of children.
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