Metaverse would be an “existential threat” to Facebook if it turned off “mainstream customers from the medium entirely,” according to media reports. Meta (formerly Facebook) is aware that virtual reality can be a “toxic environment,” especially for women and minorities, and Metaverse would be an “existential threat” to Facebook if it turned off “mainstream customers from the medium entirely.”
According to the Financial Times, Facebook wants its virtual worlds to achieve “almost Disney levels of safety,” citing an internal communication from Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth.
According to the FT story on Friday, Bosworth recognized that controlling how users say and act “at any meaningful scale” is “practically impossible.”
“We must be mindful of that as we design, iterate, and bring products to market” and Later in a blog post, Bosworth stated that technology that offers up new opportunities may also be misused to hurt people.
He also said, “Harassment in digital spaces is nothing new, and it’s something we and others in the industry have been working to address for years. That work is ongoing and will likely never be finished. It’s continually evolving, though its importance remains constant. It’s an incredibly daunting task.”
Meta has committed $50 million to study the practical and ethical challenges that surround its metaverse.
This year, the social network expects to spend at least $10 billion on metaverse-related initiatives, and it’s restructuring its financial reporting to split income from Facebook Reality Labs and its other applications.
“Of course, there are limitations to what we can do. For example, we can’t record everything that happens in VR indefinitely it would be a violation of people’s privacy, and at some point, the headset would run out of memory and power,” Bosworth said.