Meta’s terrible handling of moderation on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have carried over to its Metaverse. However, Meta’s Metaverse is the worst of it all, suffering from racists, rapists and stalkers not even a year into its inception.
The issues with Meta’s Metaverse
In a report by advocacy group SumOfUs, Meta’s Metaverse platform Horizon Worlds is a “cesspool of toxic content”. In an experiment to see how bad general experiences are, a team of researchers entered the VR works for just a few hours.
As we reported yesterday, it only took one hour for a researcher to be virtually “raped” inside the VR world. After joining a virtual party, two men came up behind the researcher and started thrusting towards her, causing the haptics of her controller to pulse with every touch. The men also shouted lewd comments during the incident.
However, this was not the only toxic interaction the researcher had inside the virtual platform. In fact, alongside blatant sexual harassment, the researchers also experienced horrendous racism, homophobia and stalking.
Despite reporting content in Meta’s Metaverse, worlds and users remained unpunished. Anyone spouting racist abuse can essentially do so freely as Meta seemingly does not act on reports unless contacted directly by a publication.
This has been proved by outlets such as Buzzfeed. In one experiment, the outlet created a room filled “with right-wing slogans claiming U.S. election fraud and pandemic misinformation.” Despite reporting the content multiple times, Meta only took the content down after the outlet reached out to the company directly.
Meta has no plan to moderate anything
The SumOfUs report explains that Meta’s content moderation strategy is essentially non-existent inside its Metaverse. With reporting tools effectively useless, moderation relies on actual human content moderators that populate the world.
However, these moderators are only available inside the main plaza of Horizon Worlds, not user-generated lands. This means that Meta’s Metaverse police is essentially useless to combat the worst offenders.
Furthermore, Meta moderators are seemingly useless at moderating the plaza they oversee. Multiple instances of racism and sexual harassment occur in the plaza. Furthermore, the plaza is frequently populated with loud children despite the fact that they’re not allowed to use the Metaverse platform.