Have Meta’s election priorities shifted?

Meta seems less interested in stopping IRL election misinformation and more into the metaverse.

Selina Lee

In the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that election security was Facebook’s top priority.

But recently, four employees told The New York Times that Zuck’s big focus is now the metaverse — something that may feel obvious given how often he talks about it, the whole name change situation, and Meta’s hiring numbers.

During the 2020 US elections…

… Meta had 300+ people whose jobs focused on elections and stopping the spread of misinformation across its platforms.

Though Meta argues that hundreds of people across 40+ teams still work on election integrity, the NYT found only ~60 people remain dedicated to them.

  • Also: Zuck no longer meets directly with the elections team, nor the civil rights groups he previously sought advice from.

Meanwhile, the internet is still flush with misinformation

And much of it spreads across Meta’s platforms. For example, a film asserting that Donald Trump won the 2020 election saw 430k+ interactions on Facebook and Instagram.

Meanwhile, other critics have accused the global company of paying the most attention to its home country’s elections.

  • Ex-Facebook employee Sahar Massachi, now the executive director of the Integrity Institute, told the NYT, “However bad it is here, think about how much worse it is everywhere else.”

Perhaps Zuck will become interested again when the metaverse elects a CryptoPunk as its president.

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