Mainstream Media's Discourse on Meta's Metaverse
Keywords:Journalistic discourse, Meta's Metaverse, New Media Dystopia
This project focuses on mainstream media’s discourse on Facebook, recently known as Meta’s newly launched virtually inter-connected world called Metaverse. The contention of this study is that mainstream media serves as a forum that contributes to the public imagination of technology. Furthermore, Facebook faces various kinds of public scrutiny, including lawsuits by ex-content flaggers over mental health damages from over-exposure to harmful content. The company’s handling of private information has also been heavily criticized by regulators, mainstream media outlets, and users, forcing Facebook to change some of its practices and offer explanations before the US Congress and the public in general. Nonetheless, the resulting media coverage of these dilemmas and damaging effects show how essential it is for the public to understand how journalism critically scrutinizes a new technology as it develops. This could help prevent harm to users and public life. Thus, this project focuses on mainstream media’s discursive construction of Meta’s Metaverse due to the media’s salient role in shaping public perceptions of technology. The objective of this study is to critically analyze the media discourse that is giving shape to this metaverse in the public imagination. The study is theoretically grounded in Foucault’s understanding of discourse as producing knowledge and power. This study will gather and analyze mainstream media publications reporting on the Metaverse from 2021 to the present. The analysis will focus on questions such as: How is mainstream media discussing this metaverse? What are the known limitations, and benefits of the platform as discussed by publications? In all, this study found that the journalistic discourse was overwhelmingly critical of this virtual world, and presented this metaverse as a dystopia while paradoxically reaffirming support for Meta's Metaverse.
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