On November 26, 2021, Nina Jane Patel, a beta tester of age 43, claimed that she was virtually “groped” in the metaverse VR platform ‘Horizon Worlds’ made by Meta.
the company formerly known as Facebook. The incident was made public by Meta on December 1.
Patel came forward to discuss her horrifying experience. According to her, within 60 seconds of joining, she was verbally and sexually harassed by 3 to 4 male avatars.
With male voices, where indecent pictures and abusive words were also involved. This incident first raised the serious issue of virtual assault that shocked people around the world.
In response to this, Meta has come up with a new feature called ‘safety boundaries’. It will prevent the users’ virtual avatars from invading other avatars’
personal space as reported by Meta in a blog post. With the safety mode on, the virtual intruder’s hands will disappear if the 1.5 meters boundary is crossed.
To be honest, verbal abuse and harassment already existed since the emergence of social media, but now this incident has brought in a whole new light to what extent virtual harassment can go.
This leads to a new level of cybercrime and must be handled with seriousness to prevent people of any age from falling victim to it.
Thanks For Reading!