Microsoft is attempting to improve safety on AltspaceVR by deleting all social hubs the platform hosts. The social hubs being removed include the Campfire, News and Entertainment Commons. Additionally, users will now need to log in to the platform through a Microsoft account. Likewise, the safety bubble feature will now be on by default, as will the mute feature for those attending meetings.
“As we continue to develop and innovate on products like AltspaceVR, – which is a building block for the future of the metaverse – safety within the environment must be part of the foundation. It is our commitment to the community, from those who have been along on the journey from Day One, to those we are welcoming today, to create platforms and experiences you can trust,” says Alex Kipman, the Technical Fellow for AI and Mixed Reality in the Cloud and AI Group at Microsoft, “Everyone should always feel safe in experiences like AltspaceVR, experiences that will make the metaverse a reality. We have a responsibility to establish guardrails and we look forward to sharing more as we continue this journey with you.”
Microsoft & the Evolution of the Metaverse
Microsoft believes it’s essential to continue to evaluate metaverse platforms’ safety and functionality as they evolve. Accordingly, Microsoft hopes to easily allow users to connect with others who share a common interest “while also ensuring the spaces they access are safe from inappropriate behavior and harassment.”
Additionally, the company plans to improve content ratings for Events and increase moderation in the coming weeks. In the same vein, Meta is implementing a personal boundary feature to curb online harassment. Microsoft also stresses that logging in will require a Microsoft account in the future. Said Kipman, “Just as we do for Xbox, Windows, and other Microsoft services, we will integrate MSA accounts with Microsoft Family Safety, allowing parents to approve or limit access to AltspaceVR for 13+ family members who download AltspaceVR from the Microsoft Store. We will communicate the exact timing and how parents can implement these changes in the months ahead.”