Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 18 submissions in the queue.
posted by janrinok on Friday December 10 2021, @10:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the how-well-do-the-combat-harassment-IRL? dept.

As Facebook plans the metaverse, it struggles to combat harassment in VR:

Sydney Smith had dealt with lewd, sexist remarks for more than a month while playing the Echo VR video game. But the 20-year-old reached her breaking point this summer.

[...] Smith tried to figure out which player had harassed her, so she could file a report. But that was tough because multiple people were talking at the same time. Since she hadn't been recording the match, Smith couldn't rewatch the encounter and look for a username.

[...] Smith isn't the only virtual reality player who's had trouble reporting an ugly run-in. Though Oculus and Echo VR, both owned by Facebook, have ways to report users who violate their rules, people who've experienced or witnessed harassment and offensive behavior in virtual environments say a cumbersome process deters them from filing a report. Content moderators have to examine a person's behavior, as well as words. (Oculus' VR policy says users aren't allowed to follow other users against their wishes, make sexual gestures or block someone's normal movement.)

As Facebook focuses on creating the metaverse -- a 3D digital world where people can play, work, learn and socialize -- content moderation will only get more complex. The company, which recently rebranded as Meta to highlight its ambitions, already struggles to combat hate speech and harassment on its popular social media platforms, where people leave behind a record of their remarks. The immersive spaces such as Horizon Worlds envisioned by CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be more challenging to police.

This story is partly based on disclosures made by Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which were also provided to Congress in redacted form by her legal team. A consortium of news organizations, including CNET, received redacted versions of the documents obtained by Congress.

"The issue of harassment in VR is a huge one," Haugen said. "There's going to be whole new art forms of how to harass people that are about plausible deniability." The tech company would need to hire substantially more people, and likely recruit volunteers, to adequately deal with this problem, she said.

Facebook has more than 40,000 people working on safety and security. The company doesn't break down how many are dedicated to its VR platform.


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @10:05PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @10:05PM (#1203739)

    In any given medium, editorial authority applied to community commentary requires staffing to be effective.

    In other news, water is wet, the sky is blue, and the Stasi had a huge staff to keep tabs on their population.

    • (Score: 2) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Friday December 10 2021, @11:13PM (2 children)

      by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Friday December 10 2021, @11:13PM (#1203773)

      With careful management, years of experience, willingness to throw out the bad eggs, and not a small amount of luck, it's possible to have a community where people set examples for each other. It works that way on a discussion forum I run, and it worked that way at a club I went to pre-pandemic.

      Some level of staffing is still needed but it comes in on an exception basis.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @11:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @11:31PM (#1203779)

        That sounds exactly like Meta's gameplan!

        .... wait ...

      • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Saturday December 11 2021, @12:12PM

        by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday December 11 2021, @12:12PM (#1203882)

        But if you throw out the shills and trolls from Facebook, what's left?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fustakrakich on Friday December 10 2021, @10:07PM (5 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday December 10 2021, @10:07PM (#1203740) Journal

    That sounds very frightening, especially something like this, under central control.

    Watch out, they will sue to make unmoderated face to face meetings illegal.. Oh wait, it kind of is

    Future looks bad

    --
    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @10:23PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @10:23PM (#1203747)

      Snowflake young woman wants Daddy to punish the bad boys who hurt her feelings.

      Get a life. I mean that literally. Get off the stupid fake Internet "sim" and deal with real life in the flesh. I am an adult male, and after hearing the crap that passes for "communication" on my kids' networked video games, I told them to either quit playing, mute that crap completely, or only play with their friends. I avoided all this shit (and it's been around since the first virtual worlds in the 1990s) when I was younger too. It's just a garbage waste of your time and money.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @01:22PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @01:22PM (#1203885)

        I am an adult male

        Doubtful. Try acting like one.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:45PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:45PM (#1203972)

          I get your point but "Try acting like one" is exactly what the incels are doing. Not that everyone who claims an identity is full of shit, but this one reeks of misogynerd incel.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:42PM (#1203970)

        Exactly. All the "platform" needs to do is make it where people can only play with people they want to play with. Moderation problem solved. This requires that people take responsibility for their own associations.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:42PM (#1203913)
      Well another way is to start charging to use typical harassment words/phrases/etc and give the "victim(s)" say 90% of the amount.

      I'd be happy to be insulted 24/7 if I'm paid for it. Boohoo mommy, he paid me two-fifty to call me a nigga, imma gonna pretend to cry for 2.5 seconds.

      If they start using more intelligent and sophisticated insults that can bypass the filters (e.g. a turing test for insults) then the insults might actually be entertaining enough for me to read them for free.

      Paid speech >> free speech especially if I get paid whenever you want me to hear your speech.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @10:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10 2021, @10:16PM (#1203743)

    No thank you. I already tried Second Life and it's garbage. I can't see the "Metaverse" being any less chaotic.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ilsa on Friday December 10 2021, @10:20PM

    by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 10 2021, @10:20PM (#1203744)

    I don't know what the metaverse should be or how it should be implemented, but I do know that Facebook is the absolute last company on this plane of existence that should be managing it.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Friday December 10 2021, @11:11PM

    by looorg (578) on Friday December 10 2021, @11:11PM (#1203771)

    Considering they can't stop "hate" and "harassment", even with 40000 employees monitoring postings videos and chats, in their ordinary 1D (ok I don't know if they offer a one dimensional solution or what it would be (only audio in mono?) but I am sure they do, after all they can't not to since someone could be missing out or steal market shares) or 2D solutions whatever made them think it would not follow them into 3D and VR? Wishful thinking? People would just stop being arses cause there is a little animated comic like 3D avatar available?

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Friday December 10 2021, @11:33PM (2 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 10 2021, @11:33PM (#1203781) Journal

    Harassment online, on a site that does not even have pics? How could such a thing happen? #Freearistarchus!!!!!1!!

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:02PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:02PM (#1203895) Journal

      Die Republikkkanische Partei isst die weissvolken partei.

      Are you insinuating a meteorological conspiracy because the Republican Party eats [reverso.net] white clouds (weisse Wolken)? Or are you trying to say it eats various white peoples (Italian, German, French, English, etc) parties (weisse Voelker)?

      In any case, you ought to get your 'k' key checked. It may be sticking from excess spittle. :-)

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 12 2021, @12:00AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 12 2021, @12:00AM (#1204014)

        Haven't you been deployed to the Ukranian border yet?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HammeredGlass on Saturday December 11 2021, @12:17AM (2 children)

    by HammeredGlass (12241) on Saturday December 11 2021, @12:17AM (#1203790)

    You are going to get bullied in life. Get over it.

    • (Score: 2) by Frosty Piss on Saturday December 11 2021, @01:38AM (1 child)

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Saturday December 11 2021, @01:38AM (#1203804)

      Your comment offends me.

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @02:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @02:50AM (#1203815)

        You have the right to be offended. You don't have the right to not be offended.

  • (Score: 3, Redundant) by JustNiz on Saturday December 11 2021, @02:21AM (7 children)

    by JustNiz (1573) on Saturday December 11 2021, @02:21AM (#1203810)

    Clearly in this case what the mysterious person said was very wrong, however I'm worried how so many people sincerely think that speech needs to be generally controlled so much that no-one can ever hear anything that they could possibly get offended by in any public forum.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by EJ on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:02AM (6 children)

      by EJ (2452) on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:02AM (#1203817)

      Here is all they need to do (if anything at all):

      Give you the ability to mute people who bother you. The end.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:04AM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:04AM (#1203837)

        But you can't reify gender dichotomy and reinforce stereotypes that women are weak and helpless that way. You can't continue the coverup of violence and sexual harassment against men that way. 1 in 4 men are sexual assault survivors.

        Meanwhile, Roe v. Wade is about to be overturned, and nobody cares that an infant boy dies from circumcision every day in the USA.

        There are progressive tasks, but sex-negative feminism does not seem interested in them. In the case of circumcision and sexual assault, feminism reveals that it is an inherently exclusionary movement: liberation for me but patriarchy for thee. I admit though I remain mystified about the "this is fine [knowyourmeme.com]" approach to the end of Roe v. Wade. In any case, it clearly falls to the working class to complete these tasks instead.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:13AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:13AM (#1203838)

          Feminism is better named female supremacy.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:33AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:33AM (#1203840)

            Cut this incel's dick! Now!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:51AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @06:51AM (#1203844)

              lol

              Yep, women are sex objects and prizes to be won by whispering sweet nothings about how safe and protected they'll be by your side.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @08:05PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @08:05PM (#1203977)

            Feminism is dead. Yesterday at the top of the heap, now they suffer silently as universities celebrate menchildren claiming they are women, and let them into women's sports teams and women's toilets.

            If they dare to speak up, they are shouted down as evil transphobes. Shoe has moved to another foot.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @11:57PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @11:57PM (#1204013)

              Found the turd with a sister mom!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @05:37AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @05:37AM (#1203830)

    The extremely sexist splash image that reinforces gender stereotypes is all I need to see to know this is a pile of garbage.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:45PM (#1203971)

      How dare they reinforce gender stereotypes! How will we grow a world of retarded niggerized trannies who can't breed?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @05:37AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @05:37AM (#1203831)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @11:14AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @11:14AM (#1203869)

      Yeah, it's possible for someone to escalate it to real world abuse, but we have laws against that. Until they make it impossible to avoid them by simply closing your browser tabs, snowflakes need to stop whining. Being offended isn't a state you should seek to eliminate from reality.

      What these snowflakes want, censorship by some chosen mandarin, is far, far more dangerous in the long run than any offense taken by a snowflake at someone spouting mean words online.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @11:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @11:15AM (#1203870)
        (To clarify, the snowflakes can still whine. I don't mean to MAKE them stop. They have free speech like everyone else. But they'd feel better and be healthier if they learned to let go of casual outrage over anonymous trolling over the Internet.)
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:52AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @07:52AM (#1203853)

    I hate this article and all the stupid asshole comments. This deserves double birds to everyone, including myself, for falling into this cesspool quagmire of toll-bait bullshit.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @08:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @08:01PM (#1203975)

      Well, you DID click on Soylent News, so...

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:06PM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday December 11 2021, @03:06PM (#1203897) Journal

    Clearly the way to escape mean words and all varieties of mistreatment of humans by humans is to create a virtual world filled with humans.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 12 2021, @01:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 12 2021, @01:31AM (#1204028)

      This is exactly why I see no logic in the idea that we will escape the problems people have created for each other on earth by escaping to Mars.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @05:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11 2021, @05:12PM (#1203936)

    Whatabout sign language? Is Zuckerfuck going to support sign language and other visual forms of communication already in use in the extant metaverse actual for deaf or mute people? Whatabout blindness?

    Accessibility! Burn Zuckerfuck to the ground on accessibility grounds!

    Brick my Quest for some nebulous TOS violation by criticizing you! I dare ya! It's time for me to upgrade to an Index anyway.

(1)