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The metaverse: what virtual reality platforms will mean for safeguarding children and how family practitioners can best prepare for that

Date:28 SEP 2022
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Grace Robertson New Court Chambers

The metaverse might not exist in its full science-fiction envisioned entirety but what is already very real is that even in its current infantile state concerns have arisen in respect of children’s use and interaction with the metaverse. The concerns can be grouped into three categories which will sadly be all too familiar for family practitioners (1) online grooming (2) exposure to explicit material (3) sexual abuse.

The additional risk in the metaverse is that it intends to look and feel real. With a visual headset and haptic vest technology online predators are no longer confined to 2D chatrooms or video calls. They can instead seem to approach a child user really appear to be there with them talk to them and offer them gifts instantaneously in the form of digital assets. What remains from older forms of social media is the protective shroud of online anonymity.

Family practitioners need to understand the metaverse so it is not a shock or a foreign language when it begins to appear on thresholds. Early understanding of this oncoming technological phenomena and potential protective...

Read the full article here.