Strict No to Metaverse App for Teens: Democratic Senators Urge

  • The news comes in the wake of desperate measures taken by the Meta App as it grapples for support post the launch of Meta’s Quest virtual-reality headsets. 
  • Joe Osborne previously shared, the headsets were devised keeping people aged 13 and above in mind. Horizon Worlds is an instrument to give them a complete feel of the device. 
  • The Metaverse App is currently available to users above 18 years of age only. 

World Horizon, Meta’s would be metaverse for its teen audience and a means to access a new cohort of this age group has been frowned upon by Senator Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal. It is being charged to be too ignorant towards the importance of mental and physical health safety of such a young age group. Meta’s founder and CEO Marl Zuckerberg has been targetted by the two democratic leaders on the basis of Meta’s lack of digital safety understanding. “ With a documented track record of failing to protect children and teens, Meta has lost parents’, pediatricians’, policymakers’, and the public’s trust.” the senators claim. 

Meta’s Response to the Protests and Allegations from Senators

The spokesperson for Meta brings forth companies intention behind introducing the VR platform for teens by referring to its latest headset launch.  Meta shared that the Virtual Reality platform comes post to the launch of the referred headsets and the company believes ”it makes sense” to now diversify its target audience. Meta Spokesperson also referred to the current reach of many virtual reality platforms in this domain and how their platform is going to be age-appropriate and safe for this age group. 

The strategy Behind and Beyond “Horizon”

In their recent interaction with media, Meta does not fail to address how their competitors capture the virtual reality market in the teen domain. However, with the recent lawsuits and charges pressed against the company, there has been a huge downfall in engagement with the audience and retention rates. Meta has been worst hit by the allegations of causing harm to children through its two major models, Facebook and Instagram. Such allegations and lawsuits have already cost the company billions.

With the introduction to Horizon and more elements complementary to accelerate its growth, Meta aims to acquire one million active users by the end of 2023. No matter how sincerely the company states the fact that Horizon is a means to connect to the younger audience today, it is becoming even more evident that Meta is trying and putting in all its effort to pivot from a position of loss and wishes to gather as much support as possible in the meantime. Senators’ action of urging Meta to halt Horizon can still be justified if the other platforms free to be used by the same audience are also being constantly monitored and curated in a manner that they lie under guidelines protecting the mental safety and health of the teens if not improving it