Researcher says she was raped in Zuckerberg’s Metaverse

Meta’s Metaverse push has seen multiple issues with sexual harassment since its beta last year. The VR platform was immediately hit with a wave of sexual deviants that used Zuckerberg’s Metaverse to virtually grope women.

This issue was so widespread that Meta issued an update to attempt to stop the issue. With one update, each avatar had a boundary box that stopped other players from touching each other. Eventually, an option to turn that limit off arrived as well.

Metaverse researcher experiences virtual rape

Despite boundary boxes, Zuckerberg’s Metaverse still has a problem with sexual deviants populating the platform. Revealed through a new report, one researcher says that she was subject to a virtual rape within the Horizon Worlds platform.

Working for the non-profit advocacy group SumOfUs, the researcher went into The Metaverse to report on user behaviour in a world where anonymity meets full virtual control. While in virtual reality, the researcher was invited to a private party. It did not end well.

In the private room, the researcher explained that two male avatars assaulted her. After goading her into removing her boundary box, the two started to inappropriately touch her avatar and make lewd comments.

The two avatars continued to harass the woman’s avatar with one telling her to “turn around so he could do it from behind while users outside the window could see”. This was “all while another user in the room watched and passed around a vodka bottle.”

The researcher explained that Zuckerberg’s Metaverse made the virtual assault even more uncomfortable by utilising haptic technology. In the report, the researcher notes that the Oculus Touch controllers buzzed each time the male avatars thrusted against her. 

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Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is not moderated well

This one researcher wasn’t the only person harassed inside Horizon Worlds, but she did receive the worst of the abuse. Four other researchers explained that they were also sexually harassed, receiving lewd comments from multiple men.

Via Business Insider, a multitude of women have written about their harassment inside the platform. One woman explained that she entered the platform and four male avatars immediately ran towards her to virtually thrust towards her.

Another person explained that a male Avatar approached her to “jerk off”. The user explained that he recorded her voice so he could use it later.

Meta is well aware of the issues with its Metaverse. In leaked reports, Meta has already given up, claiming that the virtual world will be unparalleled in its toxicity and impossible to moderate.

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