Meta To Tackle Harassment In Virtual Reality

Meta has announced a new feature that will allow users to have more personal space for their avatars in virtual reality worlds.

Meta’s new feature, Personal Boundary, was introduced on February 4. It prohibits avatars from coming within a set distance from each other, providing more personal space for people, avoiding unwanted interactions.

It prevents others from “invading your avatar’s personal space” Meta said. “If someone tries to enter your Personal Boundary, the system will halt their forward movement as they reach the boundary.”

This new feature will be available in Meta’s Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues software.

One user shared that she was abused in Horizon Venues. She relayed how a group of male avatars “groped her” and subjected her to sexual innuendo, took a photo of her and sent a message saying, “Don’t pretend you didn’t love it.”

Meta responded to the report with an apology. “We want everyone to have a positive experience and easily find the safety tools that can help in a situation like this – and help us investigate and take action.”

Moderating content in the fledgling Metaverse will be a major challenge, and Meta’s chief technology officer, Andrew Bosworth said it would offer both “greater opportunities and greater threats.”

But he also said that people in virtual roles would have “a great deal more power” over their virtual worlds.

As for Facebook, the social media platform is investing $10 billion in its metaverse ambitions, and a significant portion of that will go toward developing new ways to effectively moderate content.

“We have learned a tremendous amount in the last 15 years of online discourse… so we’re going to bring all that knowledge with us to do the best that we can to build these things from the ground up, to give people a lot of control over their own experience,” Bosworth said.

IT World Canada Staff
IT World Canada Staff
The online resource for Canadian Information Technology professionals.

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