Horizon Worlds is coming to the UK with new safety choices

On June 13, Meta announced the opening of Horizon Worlds, its first version of the metaverse, in the United Kingdom. In the UK, Canada and the United States, thousands of users have access to the Social Virtual Reality (VR) platform. Facebook’s parent company has unveiled new security features in response to a number of controversies surrounding the security of its platform.

The British can now sign up for Horizon Worlds

The metaverse is a vague concept that can represent something completely different depending on the project that carries it. Closest to Mark Zuckerberg’s concept of the metaverse is the social platform available on Meta: Horizon Worlds VR headphones.

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The billionaire has set himself the mission of presenting as many people as possible. ” the next chapter of the internet In this regard, the platform is gradually opening its doors to communities in other countries. After Canada and the United States last December, it is the UK’s turn to unveil the metaverse. Horizon Worlds will launch in several European countries over the summer. should be extended to other media such as the web or smartphones.

In its press release, Meta states that ” From the very beginning, we thought of Horizon Worlds as a VR environment tailored to creators with great tools for building social networks. By developing these tools, listening to and taking into account the comments of the creators, we did it. But we’re still working to make Horizon Worlds even better. “.

Make the metaverse safer

To make the metaverse better, it’s important that you feel safe there, it’s not always like that right now. Recently, one researcher stated that she was a rape victim during her visit to Horizon Worlds as part of an investigation for an NGO. To respond to harassment or virtual sexual assault attempts, Meta introduced several avatar protection features: Distorted Voices and Personal Boundary.

Distorted voices allow people to hear only users on their friends list. If the setting is enabled, foreigners will not be able to communicate with the person. Instead of clearly hearing the words of strangers, the person using this parameter will distinguish only a mixture of sounds, in a way sims orAnimal Crossing.

An example of a distorted voice on Horizon World

This is what a user who uses distorted voices might look like. Image: Meta.

” [Le mode vocal] will allow you to choose how you hear people who are not on your friends list, including choosing the option to not hear unwanted conversations at all. By default, you will hear all nearby users at the same volume, but with voice mode you can easily use distorted voices where the voices of people other than your friends are perceived as incomprehensible and friendly sounds explains Meta.

In addition to controlling when users want to hear, they will be able to choose who can contact them. This is the principle of Personal Boundary. With this setting, they can set a limit of just over a meter between their avatar and other people’s avatars. This feature has been developed to address malicious behavior spotted in Horizon Worlds since its launch in December 2021.

Strengthen the protection of minors

Meta also takes care of the safety of its underage users. That’s why the company has introduced new parental control features for Quest VR headsets and Instagram. Parents will have the opportunity to approve apps downloaded by their children, access their friends list and see how much time they spend using headphones.

As for Instagram, they will be able to limit the time of access to the social network, but also to see when they have subscribed and which people they follow. These additions are the result of Instagram’s promise in relation to the revelations of Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee. Last October, by revealing Facebook files, a former employee warned of the unethical practice of the social media giant. Instagram has been accused of highlighting the weakness of adolescents thanks to internal studies.

All of these measures taken by the technology giant are aimed at making the metaverse and its access tools more mature in terms of security for users. Because if there have been certain excesses while Horizon Worlds is only available in a few countries, who can say what will happen when the platform is open to the whole world?

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