On April 14, advocacy groups and the safety advisory team presented their proposal to the chief executive of Meta, calling for suspension of the Metaverse project for minors. The report urged the Meta team to develop preventive measures to keep off teens and young adults from participating in metaverse-based applications.
The key players in safety concerns, including the Airplay, Common Sense, and the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), contributed to the proposal’s formulation. The team requested Meta to research the impact of Metaverse on minors.
Why are Activists Against Meta’s Horizon World?
Based on their observation, the safety team suspects that exposing young people to the metaverse space might lead to a violation of privacy measures. They argued that the metaverse sector would expose minors to online harassment that would diminish their quality of life.
Notably, the advocacy team had a different perspective on the impact of Metaverse on minors. They suggested that the Meta team should delay the development of metaverse projects to allow more research on the subject matter.
Per the advocacy team, the research finding on Metaverse’s risk and potential threats to young adults will guide Meta in navigating crypto space compliantly.
Citing a report from the CCDH dated March 2023, the team observed that children below the age of 18 are experiencing online bullying and harassment. The need to safeguard the interest of young adults prompted the CCDH team to investigate the effect of Horizon Universe platforms.
The CCDH group witnessed 19 incidences where the adults harassed the minors. They noted that most of the children experience a high number of online sexual harassment.
In the April 14 report, the safety groups suggested the need for the Meta team to implement practical strategies on the Metaverse project.
They argued that violating young people’s privacy demonstrates that Meta engages in unethical practices. Therefore, the safety group advised the social media platform to prioritize safeguarding the users’ interests.
Pros and Cons of Exposing Minors to the Metaverse Technology
On February 7, an official publication on the Meta webpage demonstrated that the company would launch an interesting Horizon Universe for young people. The upcoming launching of the Horizon Worlds aims to boost virtual experiences for individuals below 18.
The publication stated that the proposed project would have features similar to the adults’ Horizon World, launched in 2021. Even though the Horizon World for users above 18 years has failed to yield a positive outcome, the Meta team vows to continue supporting the project.
Elsewhere Meta spokesperson Joe Osborne revealed that the company has invested in supporting miners to explore the metaverse sector. Osborne opined that Meta would adopt corrective protocols to safeguard the miners from privacy violations.
He stated that the Horizon Worlds for minors would have additional features such as privacy and protection tools. Osborne argues that integrating protection applications will safeguard the child from social media exploits.
Recently, Meta launched unique quest headsets for young people. The device was accompanied by supervisory tools for parents to prevent the children from accessing inappropriate sites.
Osborne affirmed that the development of quest headsets aimed to improve user experiences while safeguarding their privacy on social media platforms.
In addition, Meta’s desire to cope with emerging technologies has been obstructed by activists pushing to protect minors and youths. A few months ago, Senator Ed Markey and Connecticut’s politician Richard Blumenthal penned a letter to Meta requesting the firm to distance itself from launching metaverse applications for young people.
The senators argued that overexposure to screen time and metaverse project would lead to health complications such as eye problems and nausea among the minors.
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