Men and Women

Woman Says She Was ‘Virtually Gang-Raped’ in Facebook’s Metaverse

“Within 60 seconds of joining—I was verbally and sexually harassed.”

A woman says that she was “virtually gang-raped” in Facebook’s metaverse, just seconds after she stepped into the new virtual world.

“Within 60 seconds of joining—I was verbally and sexually harassed—3-4 male avatars, with male voices, essentially, but virtually gang-raped my avatar and took photos,” Nina Jane Patel, a 43-year-old London-based mother, wrote in a December Medium post that has only just started to attract online attention. “As I tried to get away, they yelled, ‘Don’t pretend you didn’t love it’ and ‘Go rub yourself off to the photo.’”

“It was surreal,” Patel added. “It was a nightmare.”

Reports of sexual violence are already proving to be a problem in the metaverse. In early December, Verge reported that a beta tester had alleged that a stranger had groped her avatar. “Sexual harassment is no joke on the regular internet, but being in VR adds another layer that makes the event more intense,” the tester wrote. “Not only was I groped last night, but there were other people there who supported this behavior, which made me feel isolated in the Plaza.”


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