The metaverse has a groping problem already

When virtual reality is real, toxic behavior that occurs in that environment is real as well, according to a researcher at the University of Washington. She says that virtual-reality spaces are designed to trick the user into thinking they are in a certain space, that their every bodily action is occurring in a 3D environment. It is part of the reason why emotional reactions can be stronger in that space and why virtual reality can cause the same internal nervous system and psychological responses.

That was true in the case of the woman who was groped. She wrote that sexual harassment is no joke on the regular internet, but being in virtual reality adds another layer that makes the event more intense. I was groped last night and there were other people who supported it, which made me feel isolated in the Plaza.

Sexual assault and harassment in virtual worlds are not new and are not realistic to expect a world in which these issues will disappear. There are people who will hide behind their computer screens to avoid moral responsibility.

There is a perception that when you play a game or participate in a virtual world, there is a contract between developer and player. He says that he will be able to do what he wants in the game according to the rules. The company has an obligation to return the player to where they want to be when the contract is broken.

Whose responsibility is it to make users feel comfortable? Meta says it gives users access to tools to keep themselves safe.

Meta wants everyone in the world to have a positive experience with safety tools that are easy to find, and it's never a user's fault if they don't use all the features. We will continue to improve our tools and the way they are used so that users can report things easily and reliably. Our goal is to make the world a safer place.

Users must undergo an on-boarding process prior to joining the company. She said that screens and posters are loaded with regular reminders.

The social networking site Facebook.

The Safe Zone interface has Screenshots courtesy of Meta.

The social networking site Facebook.

The problem is the fact that the Meta groper didn't use Safe Zone or could not access it. She says the structural question is the biggest issue for her. When companies address online abuse, their solution is to give the user the power to take care of themselves.

That doesn't work and is unfair. There are many ideas for making safety easy and accessible. It would take a universal signal in virtual reality to let the moderators know something wasn't right. Fox wonders if an automatic personal distance would help. It would be useful for training sessions to explicitly lay out the same rules that prevail in the real world.

One major step toward a safer virtual world is disciplining aggressors, who often go scot-free and remain eligible to participate online even after their behavior becomes known. Fox says we need deterrents. It means making sure bad actors are found and banned. ilian said Meta doesn't share specifics about individual cases when asked about what happened to the alleged groper.

The power gesture should have been pushed for industry-wide adoption, and more should have been said about the incident. He says it was a lost opportunity. We could have avoided that.

It is clear that there is no body that is responsible for the rights and safety of those who participate in virtual worlds. The metaverse is a problematic space.