‘Murder’ In The Metaverse Should Be Illegal, UAE Official Urges
By Mikelle Leow, 27 May 2022
Photo 134491281 © Ilkin Guliyev | Dreamstime.com
The metaverse hasn’t really taken shape yet, but already, users have reported being harassed by strangers and even “groped.”
Omar Sultan Al Olama, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for artificial intelligence, stressed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday the importance of setting regulations for the impending virtual world so users don’t feel incentivized to commit crimes in this space. These include “murder,” which he feels should be outlawed, according to CNBC.
Al Olama justified that attacks in the metaverse would be more harmful than receiving a demeaning WhatsApp text, since experiences in the virtual world look and feel more realistic—as if those crimes are being committed in front of you—and could cause victims to develop PTSD. “It actually takes you to a certain extreme,” he added.
He called for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union to discuss imposing international safety standards in the same way the internet is moderated for child sexual abuse material and drug trafficking.
There’s a gray area in what “murder” in the metaverse might entail, since attacks here won’t lead to the physical death of a person. With that being said, law enforcers could define it using less tangible aspects, like the intention and motivations of the suspect.
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