Good morning: The dark side of the metaverse

Disturbing reports confirm that metaverse-like virtual environments already present a threat to the young.

Chat with MarTechBot

MarTech’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s digital marketing leader. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

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?

Kim Davis

Editorial Director


About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.