Metaverse: Mass Surveillance 2.0
Author Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash invented the term metaverse. In the book, metaverse was a digital universe where people could create anything in their imaginations. Facebook recently had changed their name to Meta and is attempting to make the metaverse a reality or perhaps an alternate reality.
Currently, other tech companies are hurrying to get a hold of a piece of Zuckerberg’s future vision.
The father of public relations, Edward Bernays, in 1928, published a book titled Propaganda. The book was seen as innovative and raises the significance of persuasive messages and opinion leaders to assemble people and influence their habits and behaviours of speech.
George Orwell, in 1949 published his book 1984, which is a novel that takes place in a dystopia in a totalitarian regime where the people of Oceania — a pretend state — were being watched 24/7 on TV monitors.
A Harvard University student, in 2003, along with some friends, produced a network to connect with their friends that were attending different universities that they called FaceMash. A year later, it was renamed Facebook, and since 2006 it has been in everybody’s world as a reality TV monitor.
Now the inventor of the so-called inventor of Facebook is trying to sell the new reality: the metaverse.
Bernays used ideas from psychology to create an innovative theory of needs that would lead to new approaches to consumption. For example, he had hypothesized that mass manipulation tactics like propaganda might lead down a road that ends society.
Bernays understood that you could not trust people’s judgement. They must be influenced without people knowing it. Utilizing manipulation economically for the consumer with the use of political purposes is the foundation for advertising.
His new strategies would create “needs” like smoking. He influenced women’s suffrage and the need for a new car every couple of years.
1984 The Metaverse
Bernays’ commercial ideas potential would influence many companies very quickly. So to generate sales and to create a need, there were incentives to get to know the public.
While Bernays was the creator of needs, Facebook and social networks alike are the reality television monitor.
Big Brother sits comfortably in all our pockets today as we all feel the need to share and be connected. Social network’s business models comprise obtaining data from their users (us) and then selling it to advertisers and other companies.
Facebook only needs broad information like your date of birth and phone number. However, it is more than enough data to produce targeted ads that persuade you to buy. There are now industries that only purpose is to influence you through the many social networks.
Companies that purchase this data most likely do not have good intentions. Consumer manipulation and data coincide in a digital economy for a capitalist surveillance system where people are worth only their data.
Ray-Ban and Facebook recently came out with their latest invention: regular glasses and sunglasses that take photos and record video as they walk.
You can also listen to music through them and even answer phone calls. This was a prelude to another announcement. Zuckerberg just announced that Facebook is now turning into the metaverse.
This world today is the unfavourable 1984 Orwellian world.
Privacy is now just a thing we will read about in the metaverse, where people will discuss a time where people had free choice and free speech before the dystopia.
We are the pawns that create the data for the surveillance capitalism kings.