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The Metaverse is no exception to racism and sexism

It didn’t take long for Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse to experience his first dramas.

Formalized – then launched – just a few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse already has its share of controversy. Until now reserved for beta testers, the virtual world imagined by Meta would already be the scene of several sexual and racist assaults. In Horizon worlds in particular, a universe accessible in augmented reality via Oculus Rift headsets, a woman was allegedly assaulted while she was virtually walking through the game’s virtual city center.

Sexual assault and racism

In his testimony reported by Meta, the victim states: “Not only was I tampered with, but other people supported this behavior, which made me feel isolated. Sexual harassment is already no joke on the internet, the fact of being subjected to it in virtual reality adds another layer which makes the event more intense ”. A slip “Absolutely regrettable”, said Vivek Sharma, head of business developmentHorizon worlds at The verge. Aware of the challenges linked to this type of online behavior, the platform now aims to strengthen its blocking tools, while creating “Safe space” secure, where avatars are unable to interact with each other.

Women and gender minorities are obviously not the only ones to suffer the first slippages in the Metaverse. As Mark Zuckerberg attempts to shape an Internet of the future where social and racial exclusions no longer exist, The Next Web wonders in particular about the way in which racism could permeate even our avatars. By proposing more trained algorithms and facial recognition systems with clear faces in particular, several studies have already shown that social networks contribute – sometimes despite themselves – to the validation of racist biases and the lack of representation of visible minorities.

Meta, worst company of the year

Not content with having to accuse the first drifts on Horizon worlds, Meta is also, and in a completely different register, to be crowned worst company of the year. After a survey Yahoo! Finance Led a few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg’s group won the title, far ahead of Robinhood, Nikola or Alibaba. Nothing really surprising in reality, especially when you know that the company has been accumulating casseroles since the start of the year, and in particular after the revelations of Frances Haugen around the Facebook Files.

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