Zucker­berg’s sis­ter joins long list of Face­book crit­ics

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Business - By Margi Mur­phy in Las Ve­gas

MARK ZUCKER­BERG’S prob­lems have been mul­ti­ply­ing af­ter the ty­coon’s own sis­ter joined a grow­ing list of Face­book’s crit­ics.

El­der sib­ling Randi Zucker­berg, who worked along­side the Face­book founder dur­ing the so­cial net­work’s early days, has raised con­cerns about chil­dren’s “re­la­tion­ships through screens” and crit­i­cised vir­tual re­al­ity, a tech­nol­ogy that Face­book has in­vested bil­lions of dol­lars in.

Speak­ing at an Ex­pe­dia event in Las Ve­gas, Ms Zucker­berg said that while “vir­tual re­al­ity has in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­ni­ties”, she feared it might be­come so life­like that so­ci­ety “will be treat­ing high school chil­dren for trauma and post trau­matic stress dis­or­der be­cause they are play­ing board games that feel so real, they think they are in them”.

Her brother bought what was once con­sid­ered one of the most ad­vanced vir­tual re­al­ity com­pa­nies, Ocu­lus, for $2bn (£1.6bn) in 2014. The com­pany has de­vel­oped a vir­tual re­al­ity ver­sion of its so­cial net­work, named Spa­ces, but it has yet to gain wide­spread pop­u­lar­ity. Crit­ics cite the high price of the Ocu­lus head­sets cou­pled with the as­so­ci­ated nau­sea that wear­ers of­ten com­plain about.

Ms Zucker­berg, who now runs Zucker­berg Me­dia, a mar­ket­ing com­pany that counts the Clin­ton Global Ini­tia­tive, Cirque du Soleil and Condé Nast as clients, was re­spon­si­ble for Face­book Live, the so­cial net­work’s stream­ing ser­vice. She joined when the com­pany was just a start-up and spent 10 years as its of­fi­cial spokesman be­fore quit­ting when she grew tired of “be­ing the only woman in the room”.

Ms Zucker­berg said that hav­ing chil­dren pro­foundly changed how she felt about tech­nol­ogy and that she was con­cerned about how it has be­come “con­stantly nor­mal to have re­la­tion­ships through screens”.

Face­book is cur­rently fac­ing in­tense crit­i­cism over his­toric plans to share data with other com­pa­nies and rev­e­la­tions that it hired a PR com­pany to smear ri­vals.

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