The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Meta doesn't want to police the metaverse. Kids are paying the price

By Naomi Nix

08 Mar 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Meta's "hands-off" approach to moderation in the metaverse is raising concerns as young users are increasingly exposed to hate speech, harassment, and explicit content. The Post reports.

Zach Mathison, 28, sometimes worries about the hostility in Meta's virtual reality-powered social media game, Horizon Worlds. When his 7-year old son, Mason, explores the app he encounters users, often other children, screaming obscenities or racist slurs.

He is so uneasy about his son that he monitors his every move in VR through a television connected to his Quest headset. When Mathison decides a room is unsafe, he'll instruct Mason to leave. He frequents online forums to advise other parents to do the same.

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