Many see the internet as a safe space for all people respective of their gender, sexuality, race, or religion. However, repeated instances of online trolling and bullying on social media platforms have shown us the dark side of the internet. With the advent of Web 3, people expected a more civil online community that does encourage or allow harassment and bullying. The Metaverse promises a world of equality and mutual respect. The latest allegations of harassment against female creators have raised questions about the promised vision of Web 3.
After the launch of Horizon Worlds, there were immediate allegations of more than one instance of harassment against female creators. Most of the Horizon Worlds is an online community from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, and the allegations echo similar past instances in Facebook.
Facebook, in fact, is one of the most used platforms to spread misogyny and regressive behaviors. The incident was reported in MIT Technology Review but has not gained importance in mainstream media.
In another unrelated incident, Thea-Mai Baumann, an artist from Australia, lost all her digital art and creation when Instagram decided to take down her account. Her account was taken down because her Instagram handle’s title was Metaverse. Neither Instagram nor the parent company Meta gave any reason or apology for this action. However, they did restore the account after numerous pleas from Baumann.
These instances go on to show that the world is far from ensuring a safe space for everyone in the world. A lot of work still needs to be done and people need to be more socially aware.