I'm the Facebook whistleblower – here's why you SHOULD worry about the metaverse
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A FACEBOOK whistleblower is worried kids will waste away in Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse with little interest in the real world.

Frances Haugen shocked the world last year when she bravely came forward as the leaker who released thousands of top secret documents from her time working at the social network.

Haugen publicly revealed herself as the Facebook whistleblower in October


Haugen publicly revealed herself as the Facebook whistleblower in OctoberCredit: Reuters

The data scientist has accused the tech giant of putting profit before public safety – something Facebook owner Meta has repeatedly denied.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Frances has revealed concerns about where Zuckerberg’s big metaverse plan will go.

The metaverse is being spearheaded by the tech billionaire as a new virtual world where he wants us to work and socialise.

Frances, from Iowa, believes there are serious questions about the project that need to be answered before we go any further.

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“Do we want a whole generation of young people to be like, ‘oh, all my friends want to just be online with me’,” she told The Sun.

“I worry more about the elderly too – instead of investing in community centres or making sure someone comes and sits with that person, are we going to basically shuttle off the most marginalised in our society to go and live in virtual reality?

“When we moved from desktops to phones, people got more hooked, because it was a more convenient form factor, it’s more intimate.

“When we switch to the metaverse it’s another step up in that escalation chain.”

The former Facebook product manager also says the origins of the term metaverse should also cause alarm.

The word was first used in a 1992 sci-fi dystopian novel and it was not meant as an aspirational concept but a symptom of a society in decay.

“The reason why the metaverse became the metaverse in Snow Crash was people hated the lives they were living, they hid in the metaverse,” she explained.

Frances was in the UK on Friday to discuss trust in tech at the University of Cambridge’s Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy.

Speaking to students, she also took aim at Nick Clegg, Zuckerberg’s president for global affairs.

“I think the reason why (Zuckerberg) is running away into the metaverse is when he goes into a cafe, he goes to a restaurant, I think people grimace at him and it has to be hard,” Frances said.

“And the part that I find so sad about the whole thing is Nick Clegg…

“He’s telling Mark, ‘People are just jealous of you. You’re so successful.

“You’re so rich… They’re so jealous, that’s why they’re so critical’.”

When announcing Facebook’s rebrand to Meta in October last year, Zuckerberg, 38, said the metaverse “isn’t about spending more time on screens”.

“It’s about making the time we already spend better.

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The metaverse will not be created by one company.

“It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies.”

Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company to Meta last year


Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company to Meta last yearCredit: Getty

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