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Everyday people are impacted by the choices made at the hands of powerful men and women. Many of those leaders run businesses that are an essential part of people’s daily lives.
Mark Zuckerberg is one of those people who has a great amount of influence on the lives of those who interact daily with his platforms. With the recent change of name from Facebook to Metaverse, Zuckerberg has seen resistance from the public as well as former employees.
FINANCIALLY CORRUPT MOTIVATIONS
On Oct. 3 former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen came out as a whistleblower against the company, revealing her identity on “60 Minutes.” She had previously worked on the Civic Integrity team that Facebook organized to protect the integrity of Facebook during the election, but it was disbanded shortly after the elections ended.
From the outside, it appears that Facebook successfully accomplished their goal with the Civic Integrity team until it was discontinued. But nobody knows why—not even Haugen.
Questions and concerns arise when an effective team with a sustainable organizational structure is dissolved. Considering Haugen’s statements, Zuckerberg’s decision was most likely based on finances.
A report from arsTECHNICA stated that Facebook added a feature in 2018 to their algorithm that pushes divisive content into news feeds in order to drive up profits through engagement and interaction with advertisements. It was turned off for the 2020 elections, according to Haugen.
Zuckerberg and his cohorts have the power to further polarize political parties for financial gain by leading their users to divisive content. This shows that Zuckerberg values stimulating profits over protecting democracy and civility.
LOSING TRUST FAST
The anticipation of Metaverse brought a sharp decline in Facebook stocks and a low that they had not seen since May of this year. Users are losing trust in the company as a result of financially driven motives.
If Zuckerberg has $10 billion to spend on the Metaverse in order to hire tens of thousands of engineers that will create a virtual universe, he should also hire engineers to focus on privacy issues. This was what Haugen posed to the European Parliament last month, underscoring Zuckerberg’s need to boost profits for the company and, as the CEO, chairman and controlling shareholder, for himself.
While there are costs that certainly need to be covered by a large business like Metaverse, Zuckerberg’s means of generating income for Facebook is harmful to our democracy. Zuckerberg needs to re-evaluate his model of leadership so that his employees are inspired to do work that is moral and ethical.
NEW LEADERSHIP NEEDED
Several news outlets claim that the name change of Facebook to Metaverse is simply a way of diverting from the real needs of the company. Instead of strategizing ways to increase personal financial gain, Zuckerberg needs to re-evaluate the relationship between Facebook and its users.
Zuckerberg’s focused efforts on building a platform that is based on trust will naturally increase the users’ desire to engage with the platform. Neglecting to do so could mean the end of Zuckerberg’s multi-company domination of social media that no name change or amount of money could fix.