Many human rights organisations and internet safety societies are demanding that Meta* Corporation stop implementing its plan to provide minors with access to the Horizon Worlds metaverse.
The programme was due to be implemented in February, but now only adults aged 18 and over can use the app. Activists suggest that children could be subjected to bullying and abuse in the nascent metaverse. The petition states:
"Meta* should wait for further research into the potential risks associated with the metaverse before allowing children and teenagers to enter it."
A report by the Digital Hate Centre, referenced in the letter by human rights activists, said that in 100 visits to the most popular Horizon Worlds by users under the age of 18, there were 19 episodes of harassment of minors.
Joe Osborne, Meta* representative, said:
"We will develop additional safeguards and utilities before allowing teenagers access to this platform to ensure they have a suitable experience."
Back in March, Margrethe Vestager, head of EU antitrust oversight, suggested that metaverses could be the next target of oversight.
Earlier, representatives of Meta* asked politicians not to control digital worlds.
Meta* (recognised by Russian authorities as extremist and banned in the country)