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Meta creates Personal Boundary for Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues avatars

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Horizon Worlds, Meta’s (Facebook’s) social virtual reality platform, is getting a new “Personal Boundaries” to help stop virtual groping after the app’s beta testers faced harassment.

The Personal Boundary is a four-foot barrier between avatars designed to be always on by default. While the concept image portrays a bubble, the actual boundary will be invisible in Worlds.


Credit: Meta

What happens if someone tries to penetrate the boundary? The system will halt forward movement, Horizon Vice President Vivek Sharma explained in a blog post. There also won’t be any haptic feedback in these situations, meaning the user won’t feel like they’ve touched anything.

Last December, a beta tester described being groped by a stranger in a Horizon group on Facebook. “Sexual harassment is no joke on the regular internet, but being in VR adds another layer that makes the event more intense,” she wrote.

Sharma described the incident as “absolutely unfortunate,” and said that the tester didn’t use the safety features already built in Horizon Worlds. “That’s good feedback still for us because I want to make [the blocking feature] trivially easy and findable,” he told The Verge at the time.

Presumably, Personal Boundary is Meta’s way of bringing its safety features to the forefront. Whether this will actually stop harassment in the space, however, remains to be seen.

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