Meta, the tech giant that owns Facebook and began the Metaverse is expanding the types of content that it will allow people to create for Horizon Worlds, its platform which lets users interact with each other in virtual reality spaces. The new 18 and up tags for user-generated worlds will allow creators to make “mature” content for its platforms. Such content was earlier banned altogether. 

Whenever creators make something for Horizon Worlds they will have to manually mark their creations with the 18 and up tag if it includes mature content. Creators will receive an email from Meta asking them to confirm whether their world is mature or not, but the system will default to the 18 and up restriction by default if they don’t fill in the email from the company.

Since Meta has changed their policy regarding mature content, their previous policy isn’t available. However, using the Wayback Machine archive, the Horizon Mature Worlds Policy page was clear that sexually suggestive content as well as content that depicts “regulated goods or activities” like alcohol or marijuana were disallowed on the Metaverse platform.

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However, the new content policy comes with its own set of restrictions. Content may be marked mature, under which you can mark it as “sexually suggestive” which according to the new policy means, near nudity, depictions of people in implied or suggestive positions, or an environment focused on activities that are overly suggestive.” However, flat-out full-frontal nudity or pornographic material is illegal.

Similarly, “regulated substances” have restrictions. While promoting “marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, or age-regulated activities (including gambling)” is okay, promoting illegal drugs or the abuse of prescription drugs is not. Similarly, simulating “intense or excessively violent fictional content” that could “shock or disgust users” is allowed, using the platform to showcase incidents of real life violence is banned.

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However, much of its policy reads vaguely, with plenty of room for interpretation.  Meta has previously acknowledged that it has had problems ensuring that Horizon is a “safe and welcoming environment” according to its policy page.