Metaverse as we all know is the upgraded version of the Internet. The internet is evolving rapidly and sooner we will enter the Web 3.0 era. This will be the era of Cryptos, NFTs and Metaverse. Being a parent a question will always strike your head, “is Metaverse Safe For Kids”, especially after the Rylie Secrest, of Roosevelt’s missing case.
You must be aware of the Nina Jane Patel case. The 43-year-old lady was sexually assaulted by a group of four to five male Avatars in facebook’s Metaverse. As a result, Meta launched a safe distance feature in its virtual world. This feature does not let any Avatar come in the radius of two feet of another Avatar.
Does this make the virtual world safe for kids and women? The simple answer is no. This feature will not let the Avatar touch each other but, what about the child predators who lure the kids with the talks.
Well, we are saying this because recently a 13-year-old girl went missing after talking to a stranger on Facebook’s VR headset Oculus. What is the whole news? Let’s have a detailed overview.
Is Metaverse Safe For Kids – The 13-Year-Old Missing Case
A 13-year-old girl, Rylie Secrest, of Roosevelt went missing on 8th March 2022. Her parents filed a missing complaint and the police started the investigation. After interviewing the teenager’s friends and getting the details from the girl’s phone. It was put forward that the girl left the house to meet some man in Florida.
Fortunately, on 10th March, Police found Rylie in the back of the Semi truck that was being driven by the 25-year-old Floridian man, Chris Evans. It was found that both the people met each other on the Oculus. Both of them talked for almost one month and then Chris was able to convince Rylie to meet offline.
This was not the first time when the Internet’s open communication technology was used by Child predators. It has now been the concern for years. But, it was for the first time that something of this sort has been reported in the Metaverse.
How Are Child Predators Using Metaverse As A Way To Hunt Children
Oculus as we all know is the VR Headset and calling the VR headsets a door to the Metaverse won’t be wrong. To understand the whole process of how these sexual predators work you need to understand the working of the Metaverse.
Metaverse is the Virtual world where we can interact with Virtual things, this interaction is not only virtual but also physical. Although Meta has set the Physical boundaries still the interaction seems real.
To enter the Metaverse the players need to create their Avatars. After the Avatars are created you will control these Avatars wearing the Oculus Headsets. These Headsets take you to enter the Metaverse and you can roam around freely and talk with the other people who have joined.
This is the place where your child is exposed to predators. Although Meta has set the age limit of 18 years to join Meta’s Virtual world. Still, children are using it.
Parental Guide For Metaverse
The police will do their work after the crime is committed. So, it becomes your responsibility to keep your child safe from these predators as a parent. We know you will never want something bad for your child. So, below are a few guidelines that you can go through in order to keep your kids safe.
- Keep a check on your kid, if he/she is accessing something that is not recommended for its age.
- Keep a check on your kid’s account and be vigilant about the strangers he is talking to.
- Be open to your kids and tell them about the predators online.
- Share everything with your kid so that they see you as their friend and share their every secret.
- Tell your children not to share their personal information and photos with strangers.
Both the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force said “Online safety with your children starts with open communication”
Rylie was lucky enough to be found on time. But, you never know about the bad times. So, why risk it. We hope that our post on “Is Metaverse Safe For Kids” proves to be useful to you. If you find this article interesting and informative, share it with your friends. Also, if you have got any doubts or queries in your head feel free to ask us in the comments section below.
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