VRChat virtual strip clubs, child grooming

February 2022

A BBC reseacher has discovered that children as young as 13 years-old can witness child grooming, racist insults, avatars having sex, and threats of rape in virtual-reality world VRChat.

According to Andy Burrows, head of online child safety policy at the UK's NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), VRChat 'is a product that is dangerous by design, because of oversight and neglect.'

'We are seeing products rolled out without any suggestion that safety has been considered' Burrows told the BBC.

A number of examples of poor safety in virtual worlds have recently come to light, including sex parties in Roblox Condos, and virtual groping in Meta's Horizon Worlds.

In December 2021, research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) showed that VR Chat filled with abuse, harassment, racism, and pornographic content.

VRChat is the most reviewed social app in Facebook’s VR Metaverse.

Operator: VRChat; Meta/Quest; Microsoft
Developer:
VRChat
Country:
UK; Global
Sector:
Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose:
Manage system safety
Technology:
Safety management system; Virtual reality;
Issue:
Safety; Privacy; Security
Opacity:
Governance; Black box