A new report is raising concerns about Meta's virtual reality technology and the dangers the company's metaverse may pose to children.
Common Sense Media, a nonprofit offering families entertainment and technology recommendations, released a report on Thursday, indicating the virtual reality technology used by Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is moving too fast for the safeguards currently in place.
“The bad news is our kids are more used to it than we are," Jim Steyer, a children's advocate and civil rights attorney, told NBC's Kate Snow. "And so they can be exposed to sexual and violent content in the metaverse without us knowing it.”
The report, titled "Kids and the Metaverse," detailed what the organization believes to be a number of hazards for children using Meta's virtual technology, including:
- Sexually explicit content and abusive language and behavior
- Privacy and data collection on users, like eye movement and facial recognition
Potential psychological risks, like "addiction, increased aggression and dissociation from reality"
“We want everyone using our products to have a good experience and easily find the tools that can help in situations where our rules are broken, so we can investigate and take action," Joe Osborne, a Meta spokesperson said in a statement provided to NBC and TODAY Parents. "Quest devices are designed for children ages 13 and up, and some experiences are only for people 18 and up. We’re making parental supervision tools available on Quest in the coming months, allowing parents and guardians to be more involved in their teens’ experiences in VR.”