Members of the House of Lords advocate for the inclusion of metaverse activities in UK internet services regulation, citing concerns about harmful content and the need for comprehensive coverage.
- House of Lords calls for metaverse activities to be regulated within UK internet services legislation.
- Debate highlights concerns about harmful content and the disparity between provider-generated and user-generated content in the metaverse.
- Lawmakers emphasize the need for regulation to cover all forms of communication in internet services, including virtual goods and avatars in the metaverse.
- Continued discussion in the House of Lords presents an opportunity to refine the Online Safety Bill and address metaverse-related concerns.
Members of the House of Lords have expressed their belief that activities within the metaverse should be included in any legislation aimed at regulating internet services in the United Kingdom. The metaverse refers to a virtual universe or digital realm where individuals can interact with each other and the environment in real time.
JUST IN: 🇬🇧 UK’s Online Safety Bill agreed by Parliament, applies to metaverse. Includes user-created objects & avatars. Covers “anything communicated by means of an internet service”.
— Coingraph | News (@CoingraphNews) July 13, 2023
Debate sparks discussion on harmful content in the metaverse
The topic was brought up during a debate on the Online Safety Bill in the upper house of the British Parliament on July 12. The discussion revolved around the need to include “certain harmful content users may encounter in services, for example in the metaverse” within the proposed legislation. The debate took place during a parliamentary session in the United Kingdom.
Lawmakers in the House of Lords conducted research on the potential risks posed to children by harmful content online. Illora Finlay, a legislator from Llandaff in Wales, raised concerns about the gap between provider-generated and user-generated content in the metaverse. She questioned whether provider-generated content could lead to an abundance of harmful material within the metaverse, which would be out of the scope of the Online Safety Bill.
Regulation applicable to all internet communications
The crucial argument put forth by several members of the United Kingdom Parliament was that the scope of regulation should encompass any form of communication through internet services. This means that the proposed legislation would apply not only to text and photographs shared by users but also to virtual goods and avatars they create within the metaverse.
The House of Lords is set to continue their discussion on the Online Safety Bill on July 17. The bill will need to pass a final reading in the House of Representatives before it can be voted on and potentially become law. This provides an opportunity to make any necessary modifications to the bill’s text.
The inclusion of the metaverse within the Online Safety Bill will be a significant step towards regulating harmful content and ensuring the safety of users in the virtual realm. As the metaverse continues to gain popularity and expand, it is crucial to establish clear guidelines and protections to prevent any potential harm in this evolving digital landscape.