expressed opinion entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Metaverse is one of the hottest trends in product design right now. Dozens of articles describe the concept of the metaverse and how it will be the successor to the modern internet. But few articles describe the harm this technology is doing to our society.
If we don’t design it with the great public interest in mind, the metaverse could create several problems.
Cyberbullying is one of the most high-profile problems on the internet.About 37% of 12- to 17-year-olds Bullied online.Young people who experience cyberbullying have Higher likelihood of self-harm and suicide.
But the Metaverse can take this problem to the next level. It’s one thing when you read a nasty comment on Twitter or Facebook, it’s another thing to see an abuser in front of you in a virtual space. Virtual worlds will immerse us in interactions and blur the lines between real and virtual identities. Therefore, any insult or abusive behavior from others will feel more personal. Without proper moderation, cyberbullying problems can increase the amount of psychological trauma.
But moderation is impossible without specific rules about how people should behave. The creators of the Metaverse might write a set of rules for the Metaverse that would allow moderators and AI-based tools to evaluate users’ behavior in the virtual space and act accordingly. These rules may reflect real-world ethics and have some specific relevance to interactions in the virtual world.
Related: Why Your Business Needs to Prepare for the Metaverse
Social media has been a major factor in polarization in the United States.as mentioned in the movie social dilemma, artificial intelligence algorithms used by social media systems to track users’ behavior and preferences and provide them with content they like to consume. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that this polarization of views can be dangerous.
If virtual worlds were designed on the same basis, we would face a higher risk of social polarization and the typical tensions that result from it. Creating a community in a virtual world is much easier when you can feel the presence of others, and seeing how many other people share your views gives you more confidence.
Virtual reality (VR) is considered to be the main interaction medium in the virtual world. When we interact in the virtual space, we will wear VR headsets. Modern VR headsets are known to cause eyestrain when people use them for extended periods of time. Our eyes and brains need a break from virtual activities, but virtual worlds will be designed to increase user engagement. As a result, people will spend a long time in the virtual world, negatively affecting their health.
Some of the problems people experience with VR headsets today can be alleviated by improving the technical aspects of the device. For example, most VR headsets available today have 60Hz or 90Hz refresh rates. Some experts believe that 120Hz is the minimum refresh rate to make interactions in the VR space more natural to the human eye (the higher the refresh rate, the smoother the motion).
But the creators of the metaverse should also introduce mechanisms that prevent users from staying in virtual space for extended periods of time. It is also important to introduce tools such as parental controls to prevent teens from spending too much time in virtual spaces.
Related: Don’t Fear the Metaverse – We’ve Been Through It Before
invasion of privacy
If the ad-based revenue model is moved to Metaverse, we may see more privacy issues.
The more data you can collect about your users, the better you can predict what users want. Imagine a virtual world where your every move is tracked so businesses can gather information about your preferences in order to show you relevant ads.
Although the Metaverse is based on Web 3.0 and blockchain technology, data privacy can be an illusion. GDPR regulations must be in place before the first user can join the Metaverse.
The most serious data security issue that can happen to you today is if someone hacks into your account and gets a small piece of your data (access to your bank account, photos, personal information, etc.). The most serious data security problem in the virtual world is if someone hacks your digital identity with all your digital assets. Improving data security will be one of the main goals of the Metaverse creators.
Industry leaders are always looking for new ways to improve data security. The use of biometric data during account creation and login is one of the ways to protect a user’s digital identity. For example, facial recognition and fingerprint scanning may become a default part of the login process in virtual worlds.