Metaverse News

Meta needs to limit Metaverse to underage users

Allowing users over the age of 18, Meta wants to open the Metaverse application Horizon Worlds to users aged 13-17.

Safety organizations and security groups have called for Mark Zuckerberg to halt social media giant Meta’s plans to feature youth on the metaverse.

On April 14, online safety groups and experts published a letter to Meta CEO demanding that the company cancel its plans for teenagers and young adults to participate in the Horizon Worlds metaverse app. According to Bloomberg ‘s report, the groups that signed the letter include Airplay, Center for Countering Digital Hate, Common Sense Media and other major security groups.

Activists pointed out that the potential risks of including young people in the metaverse should be evaluated first, and the danger that young people may be exposed to harassment and privacy violations in virtual reality application.

Supporters of the issue pointed out the possible dangers, saying, ” Meta should do more peer-review research on the potential risks of the metaverse to be sure whether children and young people will be safe, and wait for the results from it.”

Concern about coming of age raised in Metaverse


The statement also drew attention to a report by Center for Countering Digital Hate in March. The report, which shows that users under the age of 18 are subjected to harassment by adults in the application, also included data on 19 cases of abuse against young people under the age of 19, including sexual harassment, in 100 visits to Horizon Worlds’ most popular worlds.

Security experts argued that Meta should create a way of protection against young people with the metaverse project and stated:

“If the meta opens these worlds to them instead of waiting to protect minors, you will once again show that your company is unreliable when it comes to protecting the interests of young people.”

As previously reported , Meta had begun plans to open Horizon Worlds to users ages 13 to 17 in February. The company opened Horizon Worlds to users over the age of 18 in 2021 , but had difficulties in attracting users to the platform.

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According to Bloomberg’s report, Meta’s Joe Osborne said that Meta does not currently intend to abandon its plans for its miners in the metaverse, but is preparing to take some extra measures to protect such users from any metaverse-related breaches.

“Before we make Horizon Worlds available to young people, we will have additional protection and tools to help provide them with age-appropriate experiences,” Osborne said.

“Quest headsets are for individuals 13 years and older and we encourage parents and caregivers to use our parental supervision tools to help ensure safe experiences, including managing access to apps.

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