In 2021, researcher Nina Patel published a blog post detailing her experiences of sexual harassment in the Metaverse. Since then, she has received death threats and hateful messages.
Callum Hood, head of research at the Center for Countering Digital Hate in London, and his team study and monitor online hate and misinformation. He said the Metaverse possesses its own unique challenges.
Hood and his team have also recorded hours of interactions in the Metaverse and found that in VRChat, one of the most popular social VR apps, harassment occurred roughly every seven minutes.
Young users are common victims in these spaces, specifically young girls, because people recognize their voices as female.
“We’re working hard to make VRChat a safe and welcoming place for everyone,” said a representative of VRChat. “Predatory and toxic behavior has no place on our platform.”