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What You Need to Know About Safety

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What kind of naughty things did you do online before you turned 18? You may have come across some form of explicit content or offensive individuals through games, social media, or another peer-to-peer network. The vast nature of the World Wide Web and anonymity bringsthe internet can be a scary place for kids and teens.

While various parental controls are available to protect minors on the Internet, the same is not entirely true of the Metaverse. Built on blockchain and designed around the idea of ​​decentralization, the current form of the Metaverse can feel like the Wild West due to its lack of regulation, which is intimidating and downright dangerous for children. .

Many people preach an open and accessible metaverse, The next iteration of the internet legend Treat children like you would any other user. If so, how do we protect the next generation from unwanted parts of the internet? Is there an age limit for blockchain? Is not it?

What is “Metaverse”

The term “metaverse” has been defined in various ways. For big names like Meta, the term refers to 3D worlds that rely on virtual or augmented reality. To this end, the giants of media, games, and technology are likely to see the metaverse as an experience to build, market, and sell. But it doesn’t sound like the vast, unauthorized, endless metaverse that many people envision when reading books. snow crashwhere author Neal Stephenson coined the term.

The VR version of the Metaverse is definitely valid and important, according to much of Web3, the metaverse can only be built on blockchains using NFTs, cryptography, and other forms of decentralized technology. As of 2023, the future of the Metaverse and how it aligns with these Web3 technologies is yet to be written. As a result, it’s hard to say what will actually happen.Debate over whether the metaverse should be open, trustless and decentralized, or Defined by tech giants That aside, whether minors have access depends on which of these two versions you’re talking about.

Parental controls are features found on streaming services, game consoles, mobile devices, and computers that allow parents to limit the content their children can access and monitor their activities.Both millennials and Gen Z are likely familiar with these tools, which have provided adult parents with peace of mind. since 1994.

Parental controls can definitely help prevent, say, a 13-year-old from watching adult shows or accessing adult-oriented apps and websites, but the technology and Just as robust. So can you implement parental controls in a very robust metaverse?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, if you define the metaverse as a 3D virtual world. VR headsets and gaming computers can be restricted by factory features and third-party apps. Technology evolves, but this has always been the case with hardware. Metaverse’s VR Murderville Strip Club (not real life) may not have age restrictions implemented, but parents can set restrictions on their children’s hardware to prevent access.

On the other hand, what can parents do to children who access iterations of the metaverse dictated by Web3 above? In this metaverse, artists sell NFTs and collectors resell crypto art for profit. , the ‘real’ money is at stake because the scammers are always sending one (or both) of the two to Shanghai.not to mention often negative And even the potentially toxic nature of some of the Web3 community.

In this case you have to consider a few things. First, parents may be able to restrict the websites their children visit. So no more OpenSea, Rarible, Magic Eden, Nifty Gateway, etc. This is a partial fix. Secondly, minors are unlikely to have access to bank accounts and therefore cannot deposit or withdraw cryptocurrencies. Of course, setting a parental block on a wallet service like Rainbow or MetaMask won’t stop someone else from sending coins to her under-18 user’s wallet.

But none of this says it works. Children can circumvent these parental controls. A minor may have downloaded the software her wallet and hidden it in her phone. Or is your school accessing Somnium Space, The Sandbox, or Decentraland (all blockchain-powered and rated for all ages)? Minting NFTs at the level or just using a swap/trading app that circumvents major markets that parents know and restrict? It’s not just about stealing your VR headset. Also, due to the decentralized and permissionless nature of blockchain, there is not much a guardian can do.

Are age limits inconsistent with Web3’s values?

If the decentralized metaverse had parental controls or age restrictions in place, it would be a huge hassle. Most people can download the software his wallet and use Wyre or MoonPay to buy crypto with a credit card (probably not even their own card). And with a significant portion of the Web3 brands targeting mainstream adoption, the barriers to entry into the NFT space and the interoperable metaverse are getting lower and lower.

Let’s say a company announced an app For children only Or anything that blocks computer and device access to all Web3 and NFT sites and platforms. It can be an easy win for parents. However, there are still some challenges. First, there’s the issue of potentially malicious characters infiltrating the child-approved metaverse. Furthermore, it is doubtful that a solution will emerge that only excludes explicit parts of Web3 (CryptoDickButts, skill games/gambling, nude NFTs, etc.) and allows minors access to other users. To do so requires significant human effort to identify the nature of the content and leverage subjective qualitative metrics.under consideration Given the ever-growing NFT market and the wide variety of blockchain and hosting services associated with the metaverse, this feat seems utterly unattainable for a Web3 startup.

Such services, even if they existed, could be viewed as contrary to the values ​​and spirit of Web3. Within the community that uses blockchain as a springboard, he shares one value consistently: a passionate desire to decentralize. In some cases, this may only concern decentralized finance, but Web3’s idyllic builders have long ridiculed the restrictive nature of traditional finance, tech, and creative industries.

This is especially true given the various legal issues blockchain has experienced over the past year. While the NFT space applauded, The Arrest of Sam Bankman-Freed following the poignant story Collapse of FTXSEC probe prominent projects When trusted crypto exchange Many fear impending restrictive regulation.

So, are parental controls, age restrictions, or other heavy-handed content blocking welcome on Web3? Of course, this is based on the community principles that exist on the blockchain. So centralization is bad for them. As for the moral issue of needing to protect minors from the insurmountable “disease” that exists online and (somehow) on-chain, given the personal nature of the issue, the folks at Web3 Consensus may not be reached easily.

Moral Conundrum Details

Negative effects of social media on minors (especially children) is recorded many timesConsider depression, self-harm, and other mental health issues Associated with platforms such as Instagramit makes sense that the metaverse could do exacerbate these effectsHowever, this has not yet been studied, observed, or measured on a mass scale.

and still, There are many potential benefitsFrom engaging learning opportunities, to new avenues for building social skills, to the possibility for parents to bond with their children about the exciting possibilities of the future, the Metaverse offers significant benefits to families’ home lives. There is likely to be.

Ultimately, the real conversation around whether or not to let your child into the Metaverse is one of morality and ethics. As always, it’s up to the discretion of parents and guardians to decide what works best for their child. It seems, but education is probably the best way to keep children safe. If the Metaverse is inevitable, teaching the next generation the skills they need to be safe and thrive, such as how to avoid fraud, how blockchain works, and best practices for wallet security. It is essential.

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