The ‘personal boundary’ function in the immersive platform puts an automatic four-foot ring of space around users’ digital proxies, as illustrated above

Facebook parent Meta, which has gone all in on the metaverse, has created a “personal boundary” function for avatars in its Horizon VR network, which launched in December, after users were harassed. With the “personal boundary” function in the immersive platform, there’s an automatic four-foot ring of space around people’s avatars  that doesn’t allow other avatars in. Horizon vice president Vivek Sharma wrote in a blog post Friday (February 4th) introducing the new feature, which is turned on by default, “If someone tries to enter your personal boundary, the system will halt their forward movement as they reach the boundary.” This comes after complaints in news reports and social media about harassment. One female user wrote, “Within 60 seconds of joining — I was verbally and sexually harassed. A horrible experience that happened so fast and before I could even think about putting the safety barrier in place.” Horizon already has another anti-harassment feature that makes an avatar’s hands vanish if it tries to inappropriately touch another avatar. Critics of the social networking giant’s metaverse push worry that similar things seen online and in social media will happen in the immerse world of the metaverse, including harassment and misinformation.