Welp. It looks like Mark Zuckerberg's virtual reality platform, Metaverse, has a bit of a rape problem.
This comes as a female researcher claims that her avatar was virtually sexually assaulted by other people's avatars after she joined.
From Business Insider:
A researcher entered the metaverse wanting to study users' behavior on Meta's social-networking platform Horizon World. But within an hour after she donned her Oculus virtual-reality headset, she says, her avatar was raped in the virtual space.
The people who are on Zuckerberg's VR platform seem to be dead-set on being sexually deviant in the virtual world rather than using it for it's designed purpose.
"Metaverse: another cesspool of toxic content," a new report published by the nonprofit advocacy group SumOfUs on Tuesday, details the researcher's violent encounter in Meta's Horizon World.
According to SumOfUs' account, users invited the researcher to a private party on Horizon World earlier this month. Users in the same room then asked her to disable a setting that prevented others from getting within 4 feet of her.
The report linked to a video that the group says shows what happened to the researcher's avatar from her perspective. In the video, a male avatar is seen getting very close to her, while another male avatar stands nearby, watching. A bottle of what appears to be alcohol is then passed between the two avatars, per the 28-second video. Two male voices are heard making lewd comments in the video.
So, this sounds like a feminist researcher looking for "problematic" behavior in the Metaverse and getting more than she bargained for.
She then describes the sexual assault that, a reminder, was of a virtual avatar and not a real person.
But still, it's pretty graphic.
In a part of the video SumOfUs opted not to share but describe, the researcher "was led into a private room at a party where she was raped by a user who kept telling her to turn around so he could do it from behind while users outside the window could see — all while another user in the room watched and passed around a vodka bottle," per the report.
Even though it happened in virtual reality, the incident left the researcher "disoriented," she said in the report. The researcher noted her controller vibrated when the male avatars touched her, resulting in a physical sensation that was a result of what she was experiencing online.
"One part of my brain was like WTF is happening, the other part was like this isn't a real body, and another part was like, this is important research," she said in the report.
This deviant behavior first made headlines a few months ago when a user claimed to be "groped" in the metaverse.
In November, a beta tester reported that her avatar had been groped in Horizon Worlds.
At the time, a Meta representative, Kristina Milian, told MIT Technology Review that users should have "a positive experience with safety tools that are easy to find — and it's never a user's fault if they don't use all the features we offer." She continued: "We will continue to improve our UI and to better understand how people use our tools so that users are able to report things easily and reliably. Our goal is to make Horizon Worlds safe, and we are committed to doing that work."
The story goes on to detail more sexually perverted acts performed in the metaverse.
Whenever there's a new technology, you can bet that perverted people are going to find it and abuse it.
And it looks like Zuck's Metaverse isn't set up to handle the onslaught of depraved men.
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