Basak Gizem Yasadur
Zuckerberg, Are You Watching Me?!
Metaverse, the fantasy, and vision of Mark Zuckerberg offer humanity a brand new alternative life. On a boring evening at home, we will be able to go to a concert by our favorite artist on Meta. An enthusiastic investor has already payed $450,000 to become Snoop Dogg's neighbor on Metaverse. So how can this reflect on our lives in the context of International Relations?
With Covid-19, we have become even more dependent on electronic devices and social media platforms. Even some important political summits and meetings were held via Zoom. This heightened addiction paved the way for Meta's validation. The timing of Zuckerberg, who took advantage of this situation, is significant.
The idea that political leaders and diplomats can meet without the hassle of changing countries sounds good. Particularly in times of war and crisis, this can be an advantage. The rapid occurrence of mediation meetings may even prevent wars.
First impressions on Meta seem to be quite beneficial. But when this vision is put into practice, many dangers can arise.
Photo by Dima Solomin on Unsplash
THE EYE OF SAURON
As a guest on The Tim Ferriss Show, Zuckerberg said his coworkers call him the 'Eye of Sauron'. He thinks he got this nickname because of his high attention and focus on his work. Aside from his focus on work, all I've thought about Zuckerberg for a long time is that he really is the all-seeing eye.
Our internet data, an alternative to our IDs, is monopolized by Instagram and Facebook. The all-seeing eye Zuckerberg has daily access to all of our information. Like where we live, what we laugh at, and how we feel. The more he collects our data, the more he owns us.
How can we trust someone collecting and storing our data? How do we know that when an important diplomatic meeting takes place within the Meta, the all-seeing-eye will never watch?
THE DANGER IN METAPLOMACY
Meta can easily add chaos to our world where Digital Diplomacy and Globalization have not been fully digested yet. Most virtual embassy attempts have failed. Furthermore, we still don't know the true limits and definitions of Twiplomacy.
For example, what does it mean when a Russian and an American diplomat follow each other on Twitter? Could they be tired of stalking each other? Or does this mean an unexpected partnership? Maybe they just used to be classmates? While we did not even know the answer to this question, the idea of a new alternative universe came up.
Another issue to consider is the legal and political regulations to be structured within the Metaverse. Unfortunately, we have witnessed an increase in fake news, harassment, and racist and sexist discourse with the increase in internet use. It is obvious that Zuckerberg will cooperate with states for precautionary regulations in Metaverse. It also means that Zuckerberg will become a more important political figure in our reality than ever before. He may even evolve the International Relations discipline into of Inter-Realities (VR-R) Relations.
In today's world and reality, it can be difficult to prevent the harm that extremist views can bring. I think it would be much more difficult to prevent this in the Meta. Although it is considered only 1 avatar is given to 1 person in virtual reality, it can be easily changed by hackers. Unidentified avatars can appear and initiate very destructive acts in Meta. What happens in Meta will immediately be reflected in our reality.
Thus, the diplomatic order, which we had been trying to be establish properly for years, may be destroyed or severely damaged by the butterfly effect.
On top of all that, let's consider the possibility that other countries might create other Metaverses. While we already are having hard times dealing with the real world, I think the Meta idea will drag us into nothing but chaos.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
ZUCKERBERG, THE MASTER OF 2 REALITIES
Zuckerberg will be the sole ruler of the Metaverse. He will have the power to realize the global (Meta) monarchy that has been tried for centuries and that neither Adolf Hitler, Suleiman the Magnificent nor Alexander the Great could establish. What he will do is at his discretion.
I do not believe that any political, diplomatic, and legal private meetings that will take place in the Metaverse can be reliably kept confidential. Metaverse will have the authority to access our blood pressure, fingerprints, in short, most of our personal data (as long as we allow it) as data. It means Meta can tell when we are lying, nervous, or trying to hide something. Which can turn into a very horrifying disadvantage.
Zuckerberg will be able to see the data of even the breath we take. Despite this, the world public still seems unaware of the possible dangers. Los Angeles, Bari, Helsinki, and Ankara have already agreed to be the Metaverse test city for the Open AR Cloud Association. Most countries are somehow very enthusiastic about it.
Let's just say, contrary to my thoughts, Meta created a giant leap forward in the diplomatic, political and legal fields. Let's imagine that the regulations are almost flawless. Despite this, I think that the privacy of countries and individuals will be very incomplete and unreliable in Meta. I don't think that meta can bring anything to humanity other than chaos and a boring kind of uniformity.
Fortunately, it is up to us to decide whether to be included in this system or not. And all that Morpheus offers is truth, nothing more.