Good morning: The dark side of the metaverse
Disturbing reports confirm that metaverse-like virtual environments already present a threat to the young.
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Good morning, Marketers, and the metaverse already has a dark side.
In his new story about what the metaverse means, Chris Wood alluded to some news broken by the BBC. A BBC researcher, posing as a 13 year-old girl, entered a metaverse-style virtual environment and saw grooming, sexual material and worse. Some Metaverse apps are “dangerous by design” said the British National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
When I spoke to marketing consultant Tim Parkin about the metaverse, he warned that parts of it could turn out to be very bad places — dystopias rather than utopias. But what’s truly disappointing is one all-too-predictable detail in this new reporting. The app in question was not created by Facebook, but it was available on the Facebook Meta Quest headset app store.
Meta said it hopes to make safety improvements “as it learns how people interact in these spaces.” I think we all know how some people are going to interact. Is there any chance of drawing a deep breath and not repeating all the mistakes that have been made with social media?
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