Meta Adds 18+ Tag to Horizon Worlds, Opening the Door to Adult VR Content

Meta Adds 18+ Tag to Horizon Worlds, Opening the Door to Adult VR Content
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Meta is expanding what kind of content is allowed in the virtual worlds people create for Horizon Worlds, its platform that allows people to create virtual reality spaces to share experiences. The company has added an 18+ tag for user-created worlds and updated policy to allow creators to include “mature” content that was previously completely prohibited. According to UploadVRcreators who published worlds received an email telling them to manually check whether their world was mature or safe for all audiences; if they didn’t, it would be limited to 18+ by default.

based on a Wayback Machine archive goal Horizon Mature Worlds Policy Page As of April, this means that Meta now allows content that was previously prohibited. The page used to say that sexually suggestive content, depictions of “regulated goods or activities” like weed and alcohol, and graphically violent content were completely prohibited in Horizon Worlds. Now, you can include those kinds of things in your world, as long as you mark it as mature.

Of course, there are still restrictions. Let’s break them down.

If you mark your word as mature, it may include “sexually suggestive” content, such as “near nudity, depictions of people in implied or suggestive positions, or a setting focused on activities that are overly suggestive.” However, you can not do pure and hard porn; “Nudity, depictions of people in explicit positions, or content or worlds that are sexually provocative or implied” are still prohibited.

The same goes for controlled substances and violence. You can have mature worlds dedicated or focused on “the promotion of marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, or age-regulated activities (including gambling),” but you can’t promote “illegal drug or prescription drug abuse.” And while it may contain “intense or excessively violent fictional content” with blood and gore “that could shock or disgust users,” it may not show real life violence.

You may notice that there are quite a few places where the lines are blurry. How suggestive is too suggestive when it comes to sex? And in the US, weed it is an illegal drug in many places. For a company that sees metaverse moderation as something critical to your successMeta is definitely leaving room for issues to arise with creators who want to push the boundaries.

Meta has struggled to make sure Horizon is a “safe and welcoming environment for all,” as its policy page says. It’s introduced a system which, by default, prevents other users from getting their avatars too close to yours after complaints that people had been mimicking sexual harassment during the game’s beta. A feature was also introduced that allows you to make people’s voices unintelligible if you are not friends with them, which could help prevent harassment in virtual public spaces.

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