All users will soon be able to access the “Horizon Worlds” virtual world, but two senators are currently pleading with Meta to oppose this expanded access to younger age groups. Richard Blumenthal and Edward Mackey, two US senators, expressed concern about Meta’s suitability for teens, mentioning their safety and well-being.
From the launch of its beta version, Meta has restricted access to its virtual world to people who are of legal age. Nevertheless, there are reportedly plans to open up access to teenagers.
Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Kennedy wrote a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlining their objections about the planned accessibility of “Horizon Worlds” to teens. In their joint statement, they both call for suspending the deployment for minors immediately and point to the company’s prior failings when it comes to teen internet safety.
According to the Senators, “In light of your company’s record of failure to protect children and teens and a growing body of evidence pointing to threats to young users in the metaverse, we urge you to halt this plan immediately.”
Furthermore, the Senators focused on the difficulties surrounding other Meta apps, including Facebook and Instagram, which have problems with teenage and teen usage that have an impact on their mental health or put them in danger because strangers can reach them at any time. According to prior blog postings on Meta’s website, these issues have already been updated on Facebook and Instagram.
Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 would be able to access “Horizon Worlds,” although Meta has not made any official comments about when this would happen. Additionally, the ability for minors to enter the virtual world could be introduced this month, according to CNET.
Moreover, with the help of its Quest technology, Meta is pushing forward with the development of the metaverse and hopes to create a brand-new virtual world for the public to enjoy. The first attempt by Meta towards a social virtual world that offers a wide range of interactions and experiences was “Horizon Worlds,” which launched in December 2021.
Since then, people have benefited from using Meta as a portal to the metaverse to connect with their friends, relatives, and internet acquaintances. Also, a unique security upgrade was previously added, allowing users to activate their Safety Bubbles to protect themselves against harassment and groping in the virtual world.
But despite the social world’s safety perimeters being established for Meta, senators have expressed worries and asked to stop young access, noting historical problems with Facebook and Instagram for teen mental health. And currently, neither a statement from Meta nor a timeframe for its arrival has been provided explaining their decision to stop making this content available to younger audiences.