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Consider removing VR headsets from wish lists this holiday season

VR headsets might not make the best gift for your children, grandkids, nieces, or nephews this holiday season. With ineffective content moderation, ineffective reporting mechanisms, and near inexistent protective measures for children, look elsewhere for last minute gifts.

Potential concerns:

Multiple sources have raised red flags about VR for kids. Some of these risks include:

  • Many popular VR games and chat rooms don’t have any safeguards to stop adults from interacting with or contacting children.
  • Youth may be exposed to sexual content.
    • An investigative reporter2 posing as a 13-year-old girl on a VR app was able to access virtual strip clubs and explicit rooms where players simulated sex.
    • A child protection group1 also warned there are few barriers to keep children from accessing VR pornography.
  • Children are being sexually victimized1 through VR in multiple ways, including: offenders using VR to simulate sex with 3D models of children, sexual group chat conversations in virtual public spaces, and even experiencing VR sexual violence.
    • Some victims experience ‘phantom touch,’1 meaning victims of VR sexual abuse experience a physical sensation of being touched without their consent.
    • Teen accounts, especially teen girl accounts, reportedly3 experienced sexual harassment and virtual sexual violence attempts.

For more information, check out our Alert about the metaverse from March 2022.

If you see or read anything sexual towards your child online, report it to