Meta’s new virtual reality project the Metaverse will be subject to new UK laws on digital harm, according to the Government’s digital minister.
The metaverse was launched with great fanfare by Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year, as he rebranded Facebook with a new corporate identity.
The metaverse is envisioned as a blending of both physical and virtual reality though senior Meta exec Nick Clegg admitted recently the project was in very early stages.
Digital minister Chris Philp confirmed to the Telegraph that the metaverse would be subject to the same rules on digital harm as the rest of the internet after the passage of the UK legislation.
“One of the reasons we need the Online Safety Bill is that Facebook, or Meta now, have not historically been doing enough to take care of their users or police the environments they operate in,” he told the paper, before confirming that includes the metaverse.
The legislation is amongst the world’s toughest crackdowns on big tech firms and will, the Government hopes, cement the UK as a leader in both encouraging digital growth whilst reining in the excesses it allows.
Amongst the headline measures will be an effective duty of care placed on large platforms to prevent harm online.
Earlier this month Damian Collins MP, the chair of a joint parliamentary committee looking at the legislation, said “for too long big tech has gotten away with being the land of the lawless.”