So, why is Zuck talking about this big new metaverse thing? Well, the cynic in me believes because they want to own this new internet. In some countries, Facebook is already equivalent to the internet because they partner with local telcos and offer free or extremely cheap data rates to users that connect to Facebook services. I think that this time around, they want to become synonymous with “internet” for the whole world. The name Meta, of course, is a first step in controlling that narrative: Many people will think that the metaverse is called metaverse because of Meta, not the other way around.

From The metaverse is already here, it's called the internet – Can's blog

#facebook #today

Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook, told members of a Senate subcommittee that her former employer bears some of the blame for the growing conflict in Ethiopia. More than once, Haugen accused Facebook's algorithms of “literally fanning ethnic violence” in Ethiopia.

“My fear is that without action, divisive and extremist behaviors we see today are only the beginning,” Haugen said. “What we saw in Myanmar and are now seeing in Ethiopia are only the beginning chapters of a story so terrifying no one wants to read the end of it.”

Freelance journalist Zecharias Zelalem is one of the people attempting to document that story in real time. He reports extensively on Ethiopia and agrees with Haugen's assessment.

“Just looking at the instances of documented evidence over the course of the past three years in which prominent Facebook posters would post unverified, often inflammatory posts or rhetoric that would then go on to incite mob violence, ethnic clashes, crackdowns on independent press or outspoken voices,” Zelalem said.

In one recent instance, Zelalem saw an inflammatory Facebook post from a media outlet that falsely blamed members of an ethnic minority group for carrying out murders and kidnappings that took place on Sept. 27.

The post quickly got hundreds of shares and likes. A day later, on Sept. 28, Zelalem said the village cited in the post was ransacked, burnt to the ground and the inhabitants were murdered.

“Despite multiple efforts to report the post, it remains up and live as of this moment,” he said.

From Facebook accused of 'fanning ethnic violence' in Ethiopian civil war : NPR

#democracy #disinformation #Facebook