The latest news showed that some online advocacy groups and safety organizations had urged Mark Zuckerberg to refrain from making Meta accessible to minors. The complaint surfaced shortly after Meta plans to include younger fellows in its metaverse plan.
Currently, Facebook’s virtual world, Horizon World, is only open to users 18 years old and above. However, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, recently announced the firm’s plans to allow minors aged 13 to 17, to access its Horizon World.
Megatiming the decision, specific consumer safety groups on the Internet reportedly disapproved of Mata’s plan. They reached off in their numbers to Meta’s CEO, urging him to stop the idea.
Online Safety Groups Wrote To Zuckerberg
According to the report, several safety groups and professionals wrote Zuckerberg a little on April 14. In the letter, they pointed out that it is unethical for Meta to allow young adults and teenagers to use its Horizon World (metaverse app).
Many important online safety groups, like the Common Sense Media, Airplay, and Center for Countering Digital Hate, penned their signature on the letter. They claimed that Meta should re-consider the potential risks that the Horizon World could pose to minors.
Furthermore, in the letter, they argued that teenagers are likely to encounter privacy violations and harassment on the platform. They urged Meta to tarry till peer-reviewed research ensures children would be safe on the app.
They reportedly said this was referring to a recent study carried out by the Center for Countering Digital Hate. The result of the study showed that adults are already harassing teenagers on the Horizon World app.
In the study, the activists made 100 visits to some of the most populated and regularly used worlds in the Horizon World. They specifically highlighted about 19 scenarios where adults harassed teenagers sexually and otherwise.
The safety groups advocated that Meta should consider creating a new trajectory for its metaverse project to insulate the youth from its hazard. They stated that if Meta should allow minors to join the league of users on its metaverse app, the company demonstrates its disinterest and lack of ability to protect the young minds in the community.
Meta Sticks To Its Plan
As earlier reported, Meta only opened his metaverse app, Horizon Worlds, to adults. However, the platform records low participation and patronizing as it failed to keep users from revisiting the platform.
Hence, the firm announced in February to start inviting young adults and teenagers between the ages of 17 to 13 to the platform. Meta decided to take the step to boost patronage and activities in its digital world.
According to reports, Meta does not intend to bow to the activist nor withdraw its plans to invite minors to its metaverse world. However, the firm plans to recruit some techniques to protect users from any violations related to the digital world.
Joe Osborne, Meta spokesperson, stated that Meta would make Horizon Worlds accessible to teens. He claimed that the firm would adopt some extra precautions to ensure each user of the digital world is exposed to content appropriate for their age.
Furthermore, he added that the Quest headsets the platform made available are for teenagers. He urged parents and guidance to use the parental supervision equipment and also manage their wards’ access to apps in order to maintain safe and ethical experience for minors in the metaverse.