Tech

Metaverse App VRChat Exposes Children to Virtual Strip Clubs

Avatars can “get naked and do unspeakable things.”

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3,354 Hypes

Metaverse App VRChat Exposes Children to Virtual Strip Clubs

Avatars can “get naked and do unspeakable things.”

A BBC News researcher posed as a 13-year old girl in an app called VRChat, where she witnessed sexual material, racist insults and a rape threat. The metaverse platform has a minimum age limit of 13, but anyone can access it via Facebook‘s Meta Quest headset without any verification checks.

VRChat features rooms where users can meet at places you can typically find in the real world, like McDonald’s, for example. However, there are also vicinities like pole dancing and strip clubs that users have access to.

The researcher was approached by numerous adult men in these virtual reality spaces, who exposed her to a series of sex toys and condoms. In addition, she witnessed avatars simulating sex. Mr. Burrows, a representative of children’s charity NSPCC, said: “It’s children being exposed to entirely inappropriate, really incredibly harmful experiences.” He continued: “This is a product that is dangerous by design, because of oversight and neglect. We are seeing products rolled out without any suggestion that safety has been considered.”

A safety campaigner who spent months investigating the app added that children are forced to take part in virtual sex. Others have told the researcher that avatars can “get naked and do unspeakable things” or engage in “erotic-role play.” Although Meta claims that it has tools to block other players, the company is still “learning how people interact in these spaces.”

Head over to BBC to find out more about its research.

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