US senators from the Democratic Party sent a letter to meta demanding to close access to the Horizon Worlds metaverse to persons under the age of 17.
Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut mentioned Meta’s plan to allow teenagers ages 13 to join the Horizon Worlds space. The company’s new strategy involves changing the product policy, which allows only adult users to move around the virtual world.
Earlier, the management of Meta said that for a more rapid development of Horizon Worlds, it is necessary to open access to the metaverse of youth. In October, Meta said it expects a twofold reduction in the number of users of the metaverse to 280,000 active players. According to Gabriel Aul, Vice President of Horizon Worlds, other developers of metaverses are better able to meet the needs of young people, so the company should first of all focus on them. However, senators argue that Horizon Worlds can harm the physical and mental health of minors.
“Your plans to inevitably attract young people to a little-studied and potentially dangerous virtual realm are unacceptable, as this may be fraught with consequences for the child’s psyche. Any strategy to invite young people to the digital space should not be aimed at maximizing profits, “the senators are indignant.
Last year, participants at the World Economic Forum (WEF) also expressed concern about the safety of children in the metaverse, where minors may face cruelty and violence.