Advocacy Groups Oppose Meta’s Plan to Let Minors Access Metaverse
- Antwan Koss
- April 14, 2023
- Metaverse, news
- Advocacy groups, Meta, metaverse, minors, virtual world
- 0 Comments
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is facing backlash from several advocacy groups over its plans to allow minors to join its virtual world, the Metaverse. These groups are concerned about the potential negative impact on children’s mental health and safety.
Advocacy Groups Voice Concerns
One of the groups, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), has written a letter to Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, urging the company to reconsider its plans. CCFC’s Executive Director, Josh Golin, stated that it is not safe for children to participate in the Metaverse, and Meta’s encouragement of their participation is irresponsible.
CCFC’s concerns are shared by other advocacy groups, including the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and Common Sense Media. According to CDD’s Executive Director, Jeff Chester, Meta’s decision to allow minors into the Metaverse is an attempt to exploit children’s attention and data.
Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families, has also voiced its concerns. James P. Steyer, the organisation’s CEO, stated that exposing children to potential risks like cyberbullying, online grooming, and addiction to the Metaverse is unacceptable.
Meta Defends Its Position
Meta has defended its plans, saying that it is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all users, including minors. The company has also emphasized that parents will have control over their children’s accounts and activities within the Metaverse.
However, advocacy groups argue that Meta’s proposed safeguards are insufficient. They are calling on the company to ban minors from the Metaverse altogether or at least wait until it can provide stronger protections for children.
The debate over whether minors should be allowed in the Metaverse is likely to continue. As virtual worlds become more prevalent, it is essential to ensure that they are safe and appropriate for all users, especially children.