The news: Oasis Consortium, a group of game developers and online companies envisioning an ethical and safe internet, are spearheading efforts to introduce safeguards and ethics in the metaverse and other VR environments.
More on this: The hype surrounding the metaverse as the next evolution of various internet services and communities has neglected to consider the safety and security of users, per the MIT Technology Review. In November, a Meta Horizon Worlds user complained that she had been groped while beta testing the service.
The problem: Without the support or buy-in from key players like Meta or other Big Tech companies with a stake in creating the metaverse, efforts to standardize ethics and user safety and security could fail to gain industry-wide traction.
The metaverse, or at least Meta’s vision for an immersive VR future, is at its inception phase in which the company is striving to attract users, not keep them out.
What’s the catch? User safety and stronger penalties for online harassment need to be enacted now for the metaverse to attract users to the new VR reality.
The Oasis Consortium provides useful guidelines, but Meta and others with VR platforms need to address these issues before they get out of hand.
Deeper dive: To learn more about the metaverse and wider AR/VR, platforms read this metaverse primer.