A researcher posing as a minor was able to quickly gain access to the VRChat software and was exposed to a variety of improper behaviors.
Avatars, according to one person, may “go naked and do unspeakable things.”
For a long time, users have been discussing their disturbing encounters online.
The metaverse is a virtual reality-based social area where users may interact. It’s similar to Facebook.
Meta, the company that owns Facebook, does not administer the service, but it does own the popular Meta Quest headsets that are used to access it.
Many harmless items, such as groceries and even a McDonald’s, may be found in VRChat.
According to the BBC, there are additional pole-dancing locations and strip clubs in the area.
Despite the app’s 13+ rating, this is the case.
To download the app, you don’t need to be of legal age; all you need is a Facebook account.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has slammed the device, calling it “dangerous by design.”
“It’s children being exposed to entirely inappropriate, really incredibly harmful experiences,” said Andy Burrows, who leads online child safety for the charity.
“We are seeing products rolled out without any suggestion that safety has been considered.”
Meta answered that because it created the software, it has no responsibility for it.
“We provide tools that allow players to report and block users,” a rep said.
“We will continue to make improvements as we learn more about how people interact in these spaces.”
Jake Moore, a security advisor at ESET said the metaverse has enabled users to create new situations and locations in a fantasy realm but “unfortunately this has led to its creativity being abused by a number of users who will ultimately ruin it for younger audiences”.
“The metaverse is still very young and regulations are far from being ready to be able to police this new virtual world,” he explained.
“Meta must design the platform with security, privacy and safety in mind but sadly profits are clearly dominating at present whilst it finds its feet.
“If younger users are tipped to be the generation to take it on then Meta must enforce better protection and safety measures for all audiences.”