Two Democratic senators are urging Meta to cease reported plans to open its metaverse app, Horizon Worlds, to teenagers. In a letter posted Thursday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts cited issues over Meta’s monitor document of stripling security on its different apps, together with Instagram and its model of Fb Messenger for youths.
“In gentle of your organization’s document of failure to guard youngsters and youths and a rising physique of proof pointing to threats to younger customers within the metaverse, we urge you to halt this plan instantly,” the senators wrote.
Horizon Worlds is a digital actuality platform the place customers can construct, meet and play video games utilizing a digital actuality headset. Digital actuality worlds have been discovered to have related harassment issues as different corners of the web.
Blumenthal and Markey pointed to issues of safety in different Meta apps, together with workarounds that allowed children utilizing Fb’s Messenger Youngsters app to speak with strangers. Analysis has additionally pointed to Instagram’s dangerous impact on younger individuals’s psychological well being. Inside analysis by Meta confirmed that one in 5 teenagers mentioned Instagram made them really feel worse about themselves.
Meta hasn’t confirmed that it plans to open Horizon Worlds to teenagers, although the transfer might reportedly occur this month. Final yr, reviews urged that Horizon Worlds was attracting fewer customers, for shorter visits, than Meta had hoped.
Meta did not reply to a request for remark.