Meta’s VR Horizon Worlds Opens For Minors Regardless of Backlash

Meta wants money, and where does it get that money? By advertising to as many people as possible. So, it’s no wonder that Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Horizon Worlds VR app will soon be letting in minors aged 13-17.

PC Mag reports that Horizon Worlds is opening the doors for minors within a few weeks. It turns out the stern words from two U.S. senators, Edward Markey (D. MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D. CT), did nothing to sway Zuckerberg. However, the concerns raised by the politicians may have caused Meta to push their safety precautions to the forefront.

When addressing the concerns of the two senators, a Meta newsroom post stated, “We’re rolling out to teens slowly, so that we can carefully examine usage and are taking a phased approach before expanding more broadly.”

In addition to the multi-leveled plans, Meta will also be implementing additional supervisory tools for parents:

  • We’re beginning to open Meta Horizon Worlds to teens ages 13 to 17 in the US and Canada in the coming weeks with a robust set of age-appropriate protections and safety defaults.
  • We’ve expanded our existing VR parental supervision tools to include Meta Horizon Worlds, making it easier for parents and guardians to help manage their teens’ experience and support healthy conversations about safety in VR.

The events and content within Horizon Worlds will also contain content ratings. Hopefully, this will filter out stuff that isn’t age appropriate. One of the stranger features is called ‘Voice Mode.’ The tool sounds like something out of a Black Mirror episode:

This feature transforms the voices of people a teen doesn’t know into quiet, friendly sounds, giving teens more control over who can communicate with them. It also garbles the teen’s voice, so people they don’t know can’t hear them. We turn garbled voices on automatically for all teens by default within voice mode.

Like most technology, there will be workarounds that could endanger kids or leave them open to contact with less-than-friendly adults. However, parents must do their duties and stay on top of what their children are doing online. This is a lesson that, sadly, still has not been learned even after the days of MySpace and Dateline’s To Catch A Predator.

Senator Markey did issue a new tweet condemning the targeting of teens by Meta:

What do you think about minors using Meta’s online VR sandbox? Let us know below.

[Source: PC Mag] strives to be an apolitical, balanced and based pop culture news outlet. However, our contributors are entitled to their individual opinions. Author opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of our video hosts, other site contributors, site editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. This website contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. We disclaim products or services we have received for review purposes, as well as sponsored posts.

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Mike Phalin
Mike Phalin
Longtime problematic entertainment journalist. The former workhorse for Dread Central,, and Fanbolt.

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