In the wake of reports of sexual assault and other forms of violence against women, the virtual reality space network known as “The Metaverse” has come under fire.
People may feel invincible in the metaverse. In spite of this, it exposed some women to danger.
Sexual Harassment In The Metaverse
The Metaverse is filled with stories of women who have been sexually harassed. A test user of Facebook/Horizon Meta’s virtual reality app, World, was verbally and sexually assaulted by other people.
Nina Jane Patel, a 43-year-old woman, tells her story. Within seconds of getting in, Patel was accosted by three to four masculine avatars. “Don’t pretend you didn’t like it,” “Go rub yourself off on the photo,” and “I’m at a loss for words.”
Meta’s concept of a metaverse relies on a series of accessories and specialized gear to link the user to the virtual environment. New gadgets that have sensors like those found in smartphones could collect data from people, giving social networks the chance to keep personal information about people who use the Internet, like their names and e-mails, for example.
In addition to the gathering of data, there is a worry about the data being leaked or intercepted by other parties. Because Meta has had privacy problems in the past, the user’s faith in Meta’s ability to get and use this data has been questioned.
Impact On One’s Self-Worth
An unhealthy number of projections may occur in the metaverse. One of the charms of the notion is that it allows users to develop their 3D avatars in a virtual coexisting environment where they may use them to represent themselves or invent a fictitious persona.
According to experts, people who struggle with low self-esteem may be able to take advantage of this new feature to display an idealized, “perfect” image of themselves in cyberspace. They might think they look different in the real world because it is not possible to remove physical attributes from a customization screen outside of the metaverse.
While the number of sexual harassment and assault incidents reported in virtual reality is still small, they are becoming more commonplace. Virtual environments, like those found in online games and social media, have made people more likely to act aggressively in these places as well.
One of the most noteworthy reports comes from a participant in the Horizon Worlds beta program, a networked virtual reality experience from Meta, the corporation responsible for Facebook. Somebody was apparently abusing the user, and nobody bothered to step up. Meta says that all participants in the program get training and have access to tools for moderating.
Misinformation and conspiracy
The dissemination of false news and the popularization of conspiracy theories may occur in the metaverse as well as in traditional social networks. Connected virtual reality systems provide instances of this. The usage of Nazi or Ku Klux-Klan-like characters in the VRChat chat service, as well as racist remarks when an avatar represents a minority group, are examples of this.
For experts, Facebook and other comparable platforms are unable to keep track of this kind of activity. Hate speech and false news may spread far more quickly in the metaverse, a more complicated environment than today’s social networks. Without adequate control, these trials might have far-reaching consequences.
Cryptocurrency Ponzi Schemes
If the metaverse isn’t adequately managed, criminals may use it as a “no man’s land.” There are scams and assaults that may be carried out in virtual environments to steal large sums of cash and personal information from individuals.
One of the frauds uncovered in these contexts is smart contracts, an electronic form that employs technology like blockchain to verify that the contractor gets an item when a given condition (such as a payment) has been satisfied. As a result of these exploits, criminals have been able to get away with charging victims for an NFT even if they never get it.
Scams that use social engineering to trick their victims into divulging personal information are another regular occurrence. Famous brands are also used as bait in this way to get people to spend real money on bogus goods and services.