The avatar of Meta’s Horizon Worlds was groped by a stranger in the virtual world.
On December 9 Meta opened access to its virtual reality (VR) platform Horizon Worlds for users in the United States and Canada.
This is the first attempt at releasing a product since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta in October and is in line with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the “metaverse,” a VR world where you can meet others in avatar form. The tester posted in the official Horizon Worlds group on Facebook earlier this month, as quoted by The Verge:
“Sexual harassment is no joke on the regular internet, but being in VR adds another layer that makes the event more intense. Not only was I groped last night, but there were other people there who supported this behaviour which made me feel isolated.”
In an interview with The Verge, Vivek Sharma, Meta’s Vice President of Horizon, told the publication the incident was “absolutely unfortunate”.
Sharma added that after Meta reviewed the incident, the company determined that the beta tester did not use the safety features built into Horizon Worlds, which include the ability to block someone from interacting with you.