Meta is urging the virtual world to ban children.

In addition to only permitting users above the age of 18, Meta plans to open up its metaverse app Horizon Worlds to users between the ages of 13 and 17.

Advocacy and safety groups have urged Mark Zuckerberg’s social network business Meta to suspend plans to offer kids access to the Metaverse.

On April 14, online safety groups and experts wrote to the Meta CEO, urging the company to abandon plans to welcome minors and young adults to its metaverse app, Horizon Worlds. According to Bloomberg, the letter was signed by prominent safety organizations like Airplay, the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, Common Sense Media, and others.

The campaigners stated that Meta should first analyze the hazards of admitting kids into the metaverse because minors are likely to encounter harassment and privacy violations in its virtual reality program.

The advocates argued in the letter that Meta must wait for more peer-reviewed studies on the possible harms of the metaverse before ensuring the safety of children and teens.

According to a March report from the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, individuals under the age of 18 have already faced harassment from adults on the app. During 100 visits to the most popular worlds in Horizon Universe, the researchers saw 19 incidents of abuse directed at kids by adults, including sexual harassment.

According to the safety specialists, Meta should forge a new road with its metaverse project to protect the kids, stating: Should Meta open the doors to these worlds to minors rather than halt to protect them, you would once again demonstrate your company’s untrustworthiness when it comes to protecting the best interests of young people.

As previously reported, Meta began aiming to extend Horizon Worlds to users aged 13 to 17 in February. The business originally opened Horizon Worlds to anyone over the age of 18 in 2021, but has since struggled to keep users coming back.

According to Bloomberg, Meta does not intend to abandon its plans for metaverse miners but instead plans to take further precautions to safeguard such users from any metaverse-related infractions, according to Meta’s Joe Osborne.

Before we make Horizon Worlds available to teens, we will have extra safeguards and technologies in place to help give them age-appropriate experiences, according to Osborne, who added: Quest headsets are intended for persons aged 13 and above, and we encourage parents and care takers to utilize our parental supervision options, such as restricting app access, to help ensure safe experiences.

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