Mark Zuckerberg's Metaverse Selfie Sparks Wave of Memes, Jokes

Mark Zuckerberg has become a target for ridicule once again on social media after a selfie he posted to Facebook in April resurfaced on Twitter with a sinister twist.

The Facebook founder has proven to be the butt of the joke on several occasions over recent months, whether it's the Icelandic Tourism Authorities parodying his announcement that the company would be rebranding as Meta or people poking fun at the bizarre appearance of a bottle of barbecue sauce in his home.

However, this latest ribbing may be among his most unfortunate yet.

When Zuckerberg first posted the selfie to Facebook back on April 25, it was to announce the opening of Meta's first store in Burlingame, California on May 9.

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It was one of nine pictures posted in the update and featured Zuckerberg, front and center smiling, with nine similarly happy looking colleagues standing in the backdrop.

Fast forward to earlier this week, however, and the selfie made a surprise reappearance on Twitter, although something had changed.

This time Zuckerberg and his colleague's faces had been altered to give the appearance that, in fact, no one was smiling in the picture.

The definitive source of the edited photo is unclear, but one version, posted by TCastro88, gained significant traction on social media.

This version features the main image of Zuckerberg along with two zoomed in shots of his colleagues. "You cannot convince me they aren't aliens," the caption reads.

At the time of writing, this altered Zuckerberg photo had been retweeted 65,000 times, earning 669,000 likes since being uploaded on May 7.

The tweet certainly appears to have made a significant impact, with TCastro88 going on to share a screenshot revealing it had earned 35 million impressions, 6 million engagements and 2 million detail expansions.

Some were immediately taken in by the photo, with Jimmy Hothead replying: "Why are they all terrified?" and Juulsrules writing: "This is crazy how this is a real pic like why would zuck post this."

One user, meanwhile, compared it to a demonstration of a real-life cyborg.

Some users did attempt to highlight the fact the picture was obviously fake.

One user, Nabehal, shared the real version, explaining: "Yeah fine billionaires are weird but I hate spread of misinformation."

Unfortunately, for Zuckerberg, that mattered little to many on social media with the unnerving altered picture proving a fertile source for comedy on Twitter.

As one user, posting as Champagneprob17, put it after discovering the truth about the picture: "Mark Zuckerberg is still not human to me."

Comedy writer Fred Delicious likened the doctored image to "bugs when you lift up a rock."

Christopher Waltman shared the tweet, writing: "The whole 'lizard people' theory might not be far off," while license2thrill said: "this might be the scariest photo on the internet."

The truth did little to halt the pile on. Lucille Luna wrote that while she was aware it was an "altered version of the photo," she remained "convinced that one day, Mark Zuckerberg was replaced by aliens or lizardmen that took his flesh."

Sarahrxdriguez shared the image, quipping: "This is what I picture The Witches looking like in that Roald Dahl book," while bobalu thought they looked like non-playable characters from a fantasy video game.

For balance, HctorPower, created a doctored version of the photo where everyone was smiling. Smiling a little too much in fact...

Meanwhile, one user managed to tie the picture to the iconic closing shot from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, with Zuckerberg in place of Jack Nicholson.

Elsewhere, Will Smith made a surprise appearance with a neat reference to his breakthrough alien-hunting smash hit Men In Black.

It would seem that there is no let up for Zuckerberg either, who was recently named Scoundrel of the Year.

Newsweek has contacted Facebook for comment.

Founder & CEO of Meta Mark Zuckerberg.
Mark Zuckerberg during the 2022 SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas - a selfie taken by the Founder & CEO of Meta has become the source of some amusement on social media. Jim Bennett/WireImage/Getty