‘Bubbles’, logs and ‘invisible’ specialists: Meta looks for ways to deal with the ‘toxic environments’ in the metaverse

Published:

Nov 14, 2021 09:04 GMT

A company manager proposes different mechanisms to overcome the challenges posed by the development of the multifaceted virtual world of the new Facebook.

Meta aspires for the metaverse you are creating to have levels of security almost “similar to those in Disney movies”While it is virtually impossible to moderate how users behave on any significant scale, acknowledges Andrew Bosworth, vice president for virtual and augmented reality at the parent company that gives its name to the new Facebook.

In an internal document written in March by Bosworth to which The Financial Times has had access, the manager admits that the virtual world can be a “toxic environment”, particularly for women and minorities, although it points out that limiting access to this medium to the general public would represent a “existential danger” to Facebook.

The father of augmented reality alerts to the 'dark side' of the metaverse: "Our environment will be filled with non-existent people"

Bosworth outlines possible ways to deal with this problem. One approach is that Facebook will record everything that will happen in the metaverse — virtual spaces where people can work, communicate, shop, study, and undertake other activities — so that they can analyze files in the event of reports of inappropriate behavior.

The recorded data will be stored in local devices of users, such as the virtual reality headset.

Another option is to create a ‘personal safety zone’, a bubble with which the user can protect themselves from other users. An invisible specialist could also be called in to monitor controversial situations.

The manager suggests that users can only open a single account, the blocking of which would prevent them access to multiple platforms of the metaverse, even if they used different avatars.

“The idea is that we can change culture so that, in the long term, we don’t have to take those punitive measures too often, “he added.

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