Here’s a comic and opinion piece I did about the latest from Facebook, enjoy!
Facebook is Only Maintaining the American Meta
When a corporation gets too greedy and “accidentally” does harm they can always rely on their PAC bought candidates in Washington to protect them. Sometimes though, public opinion overrides willful ignorance or inaction from the government and there is a backslide in profitability. Naturally the corporation will do everything it can to save profits and survive like a cornered animal, clawing its way back into favor through whatever means necessary.
With negatives swirling around them Zuckerberg and Co. decided to become “Meta,” misdirecting consumers with a fancy new name and platform to shed the negatives associated with Facebook. Fortunately some Americans see the guise of restructuring for what it is, a desperate attempt to escape accountability for what Facebook has done by taking advantage of the ever shorter attention spans we possess. However I fear that many could fall head first into Mark’s trap, distracted by smooth graphics and the clean presentation of an all encompassing digital sphere which looks more like Skynet than any current mode of consumption.
Facebook is engaging in a time honored American tradition that nefarious boards have used for decades. When AIG was flailing before the 2008 meltdown they used a $700 million acquisition of 21st Century Insurance as their fire escape. AIG officially renamed itself as ‘21st Century’ after they received TARP bailouts to the tune of $700 billion and public opinion soured on their brand. This allowed the insurance giant to maintain huge profits for the same individuals that contributed to the crisis, doling out 7-8 figure bonuses as the market crashed around them. Many corporations attempt to escape accountability by changing their name to an acquired IP, but few manage to so blatantly rob taxpayers like AIG did.
In the 90’s, cigarette giant Philip Morris experienced heavy backlash after the public realized they were knowingly marketing an addictive product to get their consumers hooked. (The President of this same company testified before Congress that he believed nicotine was non-addictive, similarly to the Sacklers and Oxcycontin). Did Morris quit there or attempt to make safer products? Hell no, they simply rebranded their tobacco as ‘Altria’ and named their food production wing ‘Kraft.’
Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater and brother of Betsy DeVoss, attempted to change the name of his mercenary group to ‘Xe’ after he was accused of assassinating anyone who cooperated with a federal investigation into his company. Fortunately we haven’t so easily forgotten the crimes of Blackwater.
The Metaverse is designed to present a fully immersive media experience with virtually all of our digital content in one place. Despite the harm we know Facebook and their extended applications do, the power of distraction can not be underestimated. How long will it be before we see headlines claiming that another genocide started because of ethnic agitprop on Meta? Or that American children are still experiencing rapid declines in their mental health because they are targeted by algorithms that present a barrage of ‘perfect’ people smiling at them and describing how they aren’t their best self?
The practices that Facebook engages in to maintain broad consumer interaction certainly cause harm and they know it, just like Purdue or Phillip Morris. Vulnerable people are led into rabbit holes of radicalism while blatant and prejudiced lies traffic en masse. If we don’t hold them accountable it is only a matter of time before we can’t make distinctions between real life and the poison fed to us by platforms like Facebook, reaching a point of no return on America’s current path of divisiveness and hatred. Some already have.