Grown men attacked a young girl’s digital persona in the metaverse and now the police are involved.
- A 16-year-old girl’s digital persona was gang-raped by grown men while playing in virtual worlds.
- Tech companies, including Meta, are doing the bare minimum to protect the children but the most to protect their bottom line.
British police are reportedly investigating the first-ever case of virtual sexual assault of a young girl’s digital persona that occurred in Meta’s metaverse platform.
Are we surprised? It was just a matter of time before the scum of the Earth decided to take their crimes to the metaverse.
In short, a young girl’s (about 16 years old) digital persona was “gang-raped” by adult men in an immersive virtual reality (VR) game. While she was physically safe, the girl reported psychological trauma.
Before you jump at me with “this generation has gone soft” and “it was in the metaverse not in reality,” please understand that sexual assault scars not only the body but also the mind of the victim. Our bodies might recover from the ordeal but the emotional scars… The mind will never forget and will never let you forget either.
Picture this. You are a 16-year-old girl playing a VR game in first person thinking that you are safe in the comfort of your home. Out of nowhere, what are clearly gown men start simulating a gang-rape with your digital persona as the victim. Up to that point, you may have never encountered anything like this outside the talks with your parents and whatever conversations little girls have amongst each other when adults aren’t listening. But from that point on, you know how it feels. The entrapment. The guilt. The suffocation. Taking a thousand showers and still feeling dirty. It gives a new definition to “immersive experiences.”
They told you that if you stay home, you’ll be safe. If you stay off bad websites, you’ll be safe. If you communicate with your parents, you’ll be safe. If you scream “stranger danger” or even “fire” at the tops of your lungs, someone will hear you and you’ll be safe. Then why aren’t you?
Did you know that 21% of children aged between five and ten own a VR, according to 2022 figures from the Institute of Engineering and Technology? I didn’t. Not before this broke the internet and, quite frankly, my faith in humanity along the way.
What guarantees that this is an off-chance occurrence? Tech companies, specifically Meta, are bursting at the seams to make the metaverse THE place to be and hang out. They make it so bloody tempting for minors with all the colors, shapes, and concerts. But they don’t keep the children safe.
Don’t get me wrong. Parents need to exercise caution when giving their minors access to the World Wide Web. There’s no question there.
But all these massive tech companies refuse to do more about the children’s safety on their platforms to protect their bottom line.
A spokesperson for Meta emphasized that “the kind of behavior described has no place on our platform.” Ask me what Meta’s safety measures are to avoid such incidents. Go ahead. Ask me.
They have an automatic protection feature called “personal boundary,” which keeps unknown individuals at a safe distance within the virtual environment. It’s like a virtual restraining order. Those barely work in real life. What makes them think it will work online?
Virtual reality was our escape from our actual reality. But what’s the point of the metaverse if it’s going to mirror real-world harm?
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