Briton alleges virtual gang rape in Facebook metaverse
A 43-year-old Briton has claimed she was verbally and sexually harassed on Facebook’s metaverse, Horizon Venues. She said a group of male avatars “virtually gang raped” her avatar in the virtual world.
A 43-year-old Briton has claimed she was verbally and sexually harassed on Facebook’s metaverse, Horizon Venues. (Photo: Representative/File)
A 43-year-old Briton has claimed she was verbally and sexually harassed on Facebook’s metaverse, Horizon Venues. She said that within 60 seconds of arriving in the virtual world, three or four male avatars “virtually gang-raped” her avatar and took pictures of it.
Description of the incident in a blog postNina Jane Patel said: “Within 60 seconds of joining – I was verbally and sexually harassed – 34 male avatars, with male voices, basically, but practically raping my avatar and taking pictures – while I I was trying to run away, they yelled – ‘don’t pretend you don’t like it’ and ‘go rub the picture’.
“It was surreal. It was a nightmare,” she added. She took off her virtual reality headset and immediately logged out of the virtual world, she told The Mail.
In her blog post, she went on to say that “virtual reality was basically designed so that the mind and body cannot tell virtual experiences from real ones” and therefore there is a “reality” at experiences in the virtual world.
“To some degree my physiological and psychological response was as if it had happened in real life,” she wrote.
She added: “As we invite more and more people into virtual reality, we need to realize that they are designed with ‘reality’ as a key element.”
In response, a Meta [Facebook] The spokesperson quoted by Business Insider said: “We are sorry to hear that this has happened. We want everyone in Horizon Venues to have a positive experience and easily find the security tools that can help in a situation like this – and help us investigate and take action.”
WHAT IS A METAVERSE?
A metaverse is an online world where people exist in shared virtual spaces through what are called avatars.
On its official website, Facebook states: “The 3D spaces of the metaverse will allow you to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.”
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