To protect minors, Meta wants to include an 18+ tag to some of its metaverses.
Presented as the virtual world of tomorrow, the metaverse is still in its infancy. However, many eyes are already turning to the possibilities and challenges offered by these new worlds, worthy of a science fiction film from the 2000s. Investors see it as a way to grow their heritage, while brands imagine already the future of advertising. Whether it’s organizing videoconference meetings, gigantic concerts, replacing dating apps, or even playing sports, metaverses offer a lot of perspective, including in certain areas reserved for adults.
The metaverse is already here, but no one cares
Today, more than 10,000 virtual worlds have already been created from the Meta Horizon Worlds platform. But not all of them are intended for minors. To avoid confronting the youngest with potentially shocking content, Meta has just announced the establishment of a beacon 18+. “We want Horizon to be a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. When worlds are intended for a mature audience, Meta requires the world to be marked as such“, specifies the company in a press release.
Regulating pornography in virtual worlds
The subject is all the more burning as in France, pornographic sites are currently threatened with closure by Arcom and several associations, which criticize in particular Pornhub, Xhamsters or even Tukif for not sufficiently moderating minors’ access to their platforms. On Meta, worlds stamped 18+ will therefore concern content involving nudity, or suggestive behavior, but not only. Note that for the moment, we do not know if this beacon will really be a means of control aimed at prohibiting access to minors, or if it will be a simple dissuasive banner.
Will also be concerned, the contents “intense or excessively violent fictional“, but also the worlds featuring drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or more generally any activity regulated by age, such as gambling. This list of sensitive content will complement that of content already prohibited on the virtual world of Facebook, such as pornography, the promotion of illegal substances, criminal or excessively violent activities. It remains to be seen how the platform will position itself regarding some worlds located in gray areaslike the metaverse’s first sexshop opened on Decentraland a few days ago.