In December 2022, Meta (Facebook) released a revolutionary metaverse app, Horizon Worlds, allowing users to explore various virtual worlds and avatars. Unfortunately, this decision has encountered opposition from US senators who adamantly oppose giving teenagers access to the metaverse. Therefore, they urge Meta to cancel their plans for teens immediately in order not to risk any potential negative outcomes.
Meta Also Accepts Young People to the New Application
Recently, Meta’s daring metaverse platform project has been the focus of much criticism. Engineer Frances Haugen publicly expressed her apprehensions this past April 2022. Now, even US senators are standing up to oppose their latest endeavor- giving teenagers access to a new virtual world on Facebook. This controversial decision is part of an ambitious goal set by Meta: reaching 500,000 active monthly users before 2023 arrives at its halfway mark!
In January, Meta Platforms Inc. saw an impressive 200,000 monthly active users aged 18 and over. Hence, they decided to open their platform up to 13-17-year-olds to significantly boost the number of users. Unfortunately, some US senators have taken issue with this decision as they feel it exposes teenagers to potentially inappropriate content; lawmakers outlined these worries in a letter sent directly to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms Inc.
New Metaverse World May Bring Teens Closer to Bad Habits
An article from The Wall Street Journal divulged the content of a letter sent by Senators to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. They demanded that he suspend access to Horizon Worlds for kids promptly, warning him not to make similar mistakes as with its Instagram and Messenger services intended for children.
Undeniably, these platforms have faced criticism for not adequately monitoring content that is unsuitable for children. To illustrate, a flaw has been detected in Messenger Kids—intended exclusively for kids aged 6 to 12—that allows strangers to communicate with young users without adhering to the imposed safeguards.
Congressional representatives have harshly admonished Meta, pointing out that it has done nothing to prevent tobacco and alcohol ads from arriving in the hands of minors. Moreover, according to a 2021 report that Instagram is harming teenage girls’ well-being. Senator Markey remarked, “Meta has proven incapable of protecting young people on its websites; thus, Mark Zuckerberg does not possess permission to pull more teens into the unregulated world of the metaverse.”