‘Facebook working on ways to protect users in the metaverse’, says the Senior Executive, Facebook.

The head of global affairs of Facebook Inc’s, Nick Clegg has announced that their platform is continuously working on several ways to provide user protection in the metaverse. Last Tuesday, he discussed this in an interview with Reuters. Clegg is the VP of Global Affairs and Communication at Meta Facebook who remotely participated in the Web Summit of Europe’s largest technology conference held in Lisbon, Portugal on November 2, 2021.

As per Clegg, the company changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc. stressing on the base of the “Metaverse” which is again a shared virtual environment that has challenged to be the successor of the mobile internet. This shift of Facebook to a virtual network platform is completely new and innovative for millions of users around the world. According to Clegg, it can take up to 15 years for infusing the metaverse concept with virtual reality.

In the meantime, the company can work on its safety and privacy protocols. In a Zoom interview, Clegg has mentioned that this technology is going to take the place ahead of all other technologies. For an instance, the time taken to work with lawmakers, academics and regulators collaboratively cannot exceed the time taken by virtual reality infused metaverse to do all of them together.

Facebook has been under scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators over its approach to the safety and privacy of its users and regarding its unsuccessful attempts in the working platform of abuse such as hate speech, verbal abuse and such other things that have faced a lot of criticism when the former employee Francis Haugen leaked the internal documents highlighting company’s profit over safety. The documents as per the company were used to demonstrate a false picture of its working and execution. At the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Haugen on last Monday has persuaded FB’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down. He has also enforced the fact that FB should devote resources to ensuring complete safety on its existing platforms without draining the economy on the metaverse.

According to Clegg, it is not a choice between his current responsibilities and metaverse investment, so he has wanted to design metaverse as an ‘interoperable’ ecosystem. However, there must be consistency in the company’s content standards in coordination with other technological firms assisting in metaverse development. Although some of the protocols and standards of this metaverse ecosystem concept will seem difficult, it will come out as the most important policy work. On the same Tuesday when the conference was held, Facebook made a new announcement of the addition of European partners in its XR Programs and Research Funds. The latter is a 2-year dollar $50 million investment that shall be sufficient for developing the concept of metaverse technology.

Facebook is the world’s largest social network which has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality by developing certain hardware like AR glasses, Oculus VR headsets etc. The new XR Programs and Research Fund will invest global money over the next 2 years to ensure an inclusive and empowering metaverse base. Clegg has also mentioned that users will be allowed to get help if something makes them feel uncomfortable in the metaverse. There will be ‘encourage competition’ in the new Facebook industry along with protocols to research about new design technologies that are accessible to all users. Also, Facebook has decided to pause the development of Instagram Kids – an app providing content for kids under 13. The new metaverse concept will be testified at a US Senate committee about the impact of this Instagram app on young users’ mental health.

Howard University in Washington DC will scrutinize the diversified information history of technology and its role in the metaverse. The research, safety and ethics and responsible design shall be looked after by the Seoul National University. However, Zuckerberg, who has recently spoken at the augmented reality conference and company’s live-streamed virtual conference has said that the name is a pure reflection of metaverse incorporation into Facebook. But as a social media service identity the platform will continue to be called Facebook. The idea of metaverse broadly correlates a shared virtual realm to be accessed by users using whatsoever devices they want.

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