March 2, 2023

Experts Give Advice on Preventing Child Abuse in Metaverse

Experts Give Advice on Preventing Child Abuse in Metaverse Featured Image

Children in Metaverse

Following reports of increasing child abuse cases in the metaverse as they are being attacked by sexual predators, experts urged parents and tech companies to take preemptive steps to protect the kids in the virtual world.

Foster Care Institute Founder and Director John DeGarmo asserted the necessity of addressing such a topic because it is sadly escalating. DeGarmo pointed out that the current mental health crisis which kids face pushes them to places like the metaverse, where they can fall prey to sexual predators.

DeGarmo mentioned that child pornography images, which are being uploaded on the internet every day, could be sent and received in the metaverse, in addition, predators can traffick kids, a matter which will result in long traumatic effects on kids.

He asserted the importance of raising the children’s awareness from parents and the community.

According to Fox News, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children of the United Kingdom get data on child abuse imagery crimes last week after a Freedom of Information request to police forces in the UK asked for the numbers on child abuse image offenses. The request found police had recorded eight crimes involving headsets and VR.

Career sex crimes prosecutor and author Wendy Patrick elaborated that child predators target underage in the metaverse in the same way as they do in the real world by going to places where the kids play, adding they are more vulnerable as they are not being supervised by their parents.

She affirmed the necessity of protection through proactivity, calling on the parents, who allow their kids to join the metaverse, to be aware of tools and safeguards like boundary features to block and report certain types of content.

Also, Shahnawaz Sadique, a metaverse expert, highlighted the importance of parental oversight, education, and caution to ensure a safe and positive online experience.

According to her, it is important to teach children not to share their personal information, such as their real name, address, or phone number, with anyone they do not know in the virtual world.

She also emphasized that children should be encouraged to speak up if they felt that they are threatened in the virtual space. She advised parents should be open to sharing any concerns or incidents that may have occurred and implement parental oversight tools, such as monitoring software or parental controls to manage their children’s online activities.

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