Can We Protect Kids in the Metaverse? [Content Made Simple]
Issue #256: Apple privacy hurts social stocks, TikTok's new side hustle, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
Metaverse virtual worlds lack adequate safety precautions, critics say
Researchers with the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCHD), a nonprofit that analyzes and seeks to disrupt online hate and misinformation, spent nearly 12 hours recording activity on VRChat, a virtual world platform accessed on Meta’s Oculus headset. The group logged an average of one infringement every seven minutes, including instances of sexual content, racism, abuse, hate, homophobia and misogyny, often with minors present.
Yeah, I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure we’re ready for all that the metaverse seems to entail. Of course, not being ready for a new technology has never really stopped us from charging ahead in the past, so what’s to say we will take precautions and advance with great care this time around?
I’m not sure, friends. I’m just not sure this will be good.
HITTING THE LINKS
Link #1: Apple privacy changes hammer social media stocks beyond Meta
Last week, Facebook broke a record: they lost more value on the stock market in one day than any company had ever lost in history. At one point their stock was down 25%! That is a huge number. One of the reasons was Apple’s new, wonderful privacy features that had a clear effect on ad revenue on Facebook and beyond.
Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT) in iOS 14.5 in April 2021. The feature allows users to choose if they want their apps to track their activity across the web via a piece of Apple-built software called IDFA, or Identifier for Advertisers. IDFA is a randomized identifier that lets apps determine what you’ve been browsing across websites and other apps. And it’s an incredibly helpful tool for companies like Meta and Snap.
Link #2: Reselling Gig Work Is TikTok’s Newest Side Hustle
AAteenager on TikTok with 156,000 followers wants to help you change your life, starting with making real money. In his videos, he talks about how he went from being broke and working at Starbucks, to moving into a high rise in Miami and planning to retire by 30.
“All right bro… be straight up with me. How do you make so much money at 19?” he asks himself in one TikTok.
The answer, he explains, is by getting in on a business known as “drop servicing.” Search for drop servicing on TikTok, and you’ll find dozens of videos like this, with creators — mostly young men — touting their business savvy and letting you in on their secret. The promises are familiar: “$10,000+ per week by doing nothing,” reads one. “Age 13-45 Wanna Make CRAZY Money Online?” asks another. Or, “Side hustles that will make you RICH (Minimal Work Involved).”
Link #3: Meta may be forced to shutter Facebook, Instagram in EU
“If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted… we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe,” Meta said in its 10-K filing.
At this point, the statement is probably less of a threat and more an acknowledgment of the regulatory headwinds that the American company faces in the European Union. The SEC requires publicly traded companies to disclose issues that may affect profits and losses, and few things are more profitable for Facebook than user data.
THE FUNNY PART
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