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The creator of the Apple iPod has warned that the newly developing online metaverse runs the risk of damaging human social interactions and creating additional toxicity online. Tony Fadell says “we don’t need more technology between us.”
BBC News reports that Tony Fadell, the creator of Apple’s iPod, discussed the future of the metaverse being developed by Facebook (now known as Meta), and the dangers of online trolling on the platform.
Fadell stated that operating solely in a virtual environment removes the ability “to look into the other person’s face.” He added: “If you put technology between that human connection that’s when the toxicity happens.”
Fadell said that the technology behind the metaverse has merit but he worries about the social effect the platform may have. “When you’re trying to make social interaction and social connection, when you can’t look into the other person’s face, you can’t see their eyes you don’t have real humanistic ways of connecting,” Fadell said.
“It becomes disintermediated and you have the ability at that point to create more trolls, people who hide behind things and then use that to their advantage to get attention. We need to regain control of that human connection, we don’t need more technology between us,” he added.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the metaverse will be “an embodied internet where instead of just viewing content — you are in it,” adding that people should not be living through “small, glowing rectangles” such as their phones.
Fadell noted that this isn’t the first time he’s worried that online anonymity could lead to harassment and abuse. “We had the same problem with text-based commenting and with blogs, we’ve had it with videos now we’re going to have it in metaverse,” he said.
Read more at BBC News here.