Meta Builds Its New Metaverse Platform, Even As Complaints About Harassment In The VR World Get Public Attention

While Meta keeps on hard at work developing its 3D technology for the Metaverse social media concept, complaints regarding VR-based harassment increase.

The company formerly known as Facebook has been quite busy at work, proudly announcing the Metaverse along with its new name just over a month ago. Naturally, what with the endless list of lawsuits, Senate hearings, and App Store disputes with Apple, Meta was rather happy to have an entire live session dedicated just to its bright new future. Social media is already an oversaturated concept? Best way to freshen the game up? Let’s take it to the virtual world! The sort of technology that one would expect from old 80’s sci-fi flicks is now at our hands. The Metaverse is Meta trying to set itself onto a new trajectory; one of innovation, and being the trailblazer that Facebook used to be in its heyday. The Metaverse has such heart poured into it from Devs across all of Meta’s social media platforms, and will hopefully end up being a very fun experience for everyone across the virtual board. Unless, of course, something incredibly unfortunate were to happen, leading the company to consider making major policy changes and the like. What are the odds of that happening?

Well, as it turns out, where either social media or Meta go, trouble follows in spades. Specifically, the VR experience under Meta’s Oculus and Echo platforms is reportedly one that, for certain unlucky individuals, rife with harassment. Multiple individuals have made their stories public, detailing incidents of being harassed through VR, and their reasons for being unable to point out and report the culprits. Quite interesting, in all the worst of ways, how even with a virtual world people keep coming up with new ways to act disgusting and creepy. It’s also very unfortunate that these stories, while having been posted before, are starting to gain newfound attention due to the Metaverse being developed.

A Ms. Sydney Smith reported that she had faced multiple accounts of online sexism and harassment. Her first ever such experience, being the recipient of nasty lewd comments over being a woman online, ended with Smith being unable to report the individual. While there are certain community guidelines posted by Echo VR and Oculus, it becomes difficult to both identify and catch a person in a crowded room by voice alone. What’s even worse is that Meta is aware of these shortcomings. The documents leaked by ex-employee Frances Haugen reveal that another employee had been the recipient on online racism, and couldn’t report the responsible individual due to the afore-mentioned problem that Ms. Smith faced.

H/T: Cnet.

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