One of the avatars who participated in the scene. Photo: Capture
A researcher of 21 years reported to have been sexually abused in the metaverse, the world of virtual reality created by Mark Zuckerberg. The victim, who has decided to remain anonymous, would have entered with an Oculus viewer to study the behavior of users of Horizon Worlds, Meta’s social platform, when she was attacked during a “party”.
The woman, who works for the global non-profit organization Sum Of Uswrote a report titled “Metaverse: Another Toxic Cesspool” and offers a deeper look at the concerns surrounding the women’s safety in the metaverse.
“The woman, a researcher at the organization, arrived with a female-looking and sounding avatar and was sexually assaulted upon arrival“, explains the report.
According to his chronicle, everything happened very quickly and he had no way to resist. She was driven to a party where everything seemed to be running on the tracks fairness and good manners.
But unexpectedly, his avatar was approached by one user while others were watching the scene and doing sexual comments on the situation. “Part of my brain didn’t understand what was going on,” she said.
The metaverse and its toxic content. Photo SumOfUs
There is a disturbing video about what happened which, according to the group, shows the facts from the point of view of the investigator. In one of the scenes, a male avatar is seen approaching a woman, while another of her stares at her.
Meanwhile, in the tense 28 seconds that last the filmingone avatar passes what appears to be an alcoholic drink to another, while in the background male voices are heard making out-of-color comments.
“She was taken to a private room at a party where she was raped by a user who told him to turn around so he could do it from behind while others some watched and others passed a bottle of vodka, “the report reads.
Violence in the metaverse
The rape scene where the attackers walk around a bottle of vodka.
The investigator who filed the complaint commented that the controller of his virtual reality helmet it vibrated when the male avatars touched herwhich turned out to be a physical sensation that was a result of what she was experiencing online.
SumOfUs researchers also report experimenting homophobic insults and comments of a racist nature in Horizon World and who witnessed gun violence on the platform.
In her defense, Meta commented that the SumOfUs researcher had disabled the personal boundary feature that prevents non-friends from getting within 4 meters of each other. “We don’t recommend disabling this safety feature with people you don’t know.”
With this option disabled, the other avatars were able to play virtually the investigator’s avatar, vibrating his hand controllers, “creating a very disorienting and even disturbing physical experience”the organization said.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company claimed to have various tools to help people stay safe while in VR and this includes a safe zone buttonwhich allows you to block people who are bothering you, as well as the ability to report people or content.
“We want everyone who uses our products to have a good experience and easily find the tools that can help in situations like these, so we can investigate and take action,” said the Meta spokesperson.
The recent report of sexual harassment was not the only case of its kind. Earlier this year, the case of Nina Jane Patel became known, a psychotherapist who publicly shared the “surreal nightmare” experienced at Horizon Venues.