Meta urged to halt plans allowing minors into the metaverse
Meta Platforms Inc. is facing criticism from dozens of advocacy organizations and children’s safety experts who are urging the company to halt its plans to allow minors into its new virtual reality world, Horizon Worlds.
Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook, is facing criticism from dozens of advocacy organizations and children’s safety experts. They are urging the company to halt its plans to allow minors into its virtual reality world, Horizon Worlds. The groups and experts sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, warning that the metaverse app poses serious risks of harassment and privacy violations for young users. Researchers of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate documented 19 cases of abuse by adults against minors in a span of 100 visits within the Horizon Universe. The letter also questioned the lack of sufficient peer-reviewed research on the potential impacts of the metaverse on children and teens’ development, health and well-being.
In response, Meta announced to put additional protections and tools in place before making Horizon Worlds available to children. Quest headsets are for people 13 and older. Meta encourages parents and caretakers to use its parental supervision tools. However, concerns were raised that these measures are not sufficient to ensure the safety and well-being of minors in the metaverse. Therefore, advocacy groups and experts request Meta to stop its metaverse plans for minors until it can guarantee their safety and privacy.