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Monday, March 20, 2023

Keep teens out of your metaverse dream, US Senators tell Zuckerberg

US Senators have urged Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop plans to open its metaverse platforms to teenagers.

Meta may open access to its social virtual reality (VR) platform Horizon Worlds for users aged 13 to 17 this month as it struggles to grow its VR business.

According to TechCrunch, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ed Markey (D-MA) wrote a letter to Zuckerberg urging him to halt Meta’s plans to open Horizon Worlds to teens.

“Any strategy to invite young users into a digital space rife with potential harms should not be driven by a goal to maximise profit,” the senators wrote.

“We call on you to immediately halt Meta’s plan to bring teen users onto Horizon Worlds,” they added.

Meta (formerly Facebook) lost a whopping $13.7 billion in operating losses for Reality Labs for 2022, giving its AR-VR and Metaverse dream a huge jolt.

Within the Reality Labs segment, Q4 revenue was $727 million, down 17 per cent due to lower Quest 2 sales.

The app is currently available to users aged 18 and up, and the teen launch could happen as soon as the month.

Nearly a year after Zuckerberg announced his metaverse project, internal documents had revealed that the company was grappling with “glitchy technology, uninterested users and a lack of clarity about what it will take to succeed”.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)

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