Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Meta is still adding basic moderation features to its VR playscape

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Shreya Christina
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Meta adds some new moderation features Horizon worldsthe company’s social VR platform, as part of version 91, according to a blog post published Friday. While the features are welcome upgrades, they also feel like relatively simple additions that should have been introduced sooner.

For example, users who violate the platform’s policies will now receive a notification stating what they have done. (You can see an example at the top of this post.) And with the Account Status menu, which is accessible from the Security tab in Settings, you can see a list of your violations. “With this added level of transparency, we hope to raise awareness of our policies, prevent repeat violations, and promote positive behavior to keep our community safe,” Meta wrote in a blog post.

The company is also introducing a way to prevent people from spamming vote-to-kick dialogues, which Meta more formally calls “poll to remove”. Event moderators can now choose whether to offer the ‘poll to delete’ feature to attendees, and mods can enable or disable the feature when creating an event or while the event is in progress. Meta says it added the feature in response to community feedback, though the company seemingly took its time; in the blog it linked to a UserVoice discussion that started on May 11, 2022.

A screenshot of Metas

This is the new event moderator toggle.
Image: Meta

Meta has invested billions in VR, AR and the idea of ​​the metaverse so far, and the losses aren’t likely to stop anytime soon. Despite all those investments Horizon worlds hasn’t turned out to be a big hit yet: the number of users reportedly dropped in 2022 and in October The edge reported that the VP of the company’s metaverse had to rally employees to use the platform more. Small but important features like account status and the poll to remove the switch can improve the health of the platform. But for a company that already runs some of the largest social networks in the world, I feel like the implementation of the changes shouldn’t have taken so long.

Horizon worlds v91 includes some other useful additions, such as a colorful new loading screen that replaces the previous blue screen, and improvements to parties to ensure you’re not separated from your friends. You can see the full list on Meta’s blog.

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