FTC Creates Best Practices for Online Virtual Worlds
The congressionally mandated report released last month, “Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks,” urges operators of virtual worlds to take a number of steps to police itself and keep explicit content away from minors, who can access explicit content in virtual worlds.
The FTC surveyed 27 online virtual worlds and found at least one instance of either sexually or violently explicit content in 19 of the 27 worlds.
The FTC observed a heavy amount of explicit content in five of the virtual worlds studied, a moderate amount in four worlds and only a low amount in the remaining 10 worlds in which explicit content was found.
“The time is ripe for these companies to grow up and implement better practices to protect kids,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
The FTC makes five recommendations to virtual world operators to reduce the risk of youth exposure to explicit content:
The full text of the report can be found here.