We have to talk about metacrime

The Metaverse is experiencing a dizzying increase in users. Likewise, however, the number of crimes is also increasing, from which it is increasingly difficult to defend oneself. The “metacrime” in fact, is not regulated by laws or penalties that protect from any kind of abuse that is being witnessed in the virtual world.

The concrete risk of a “digital anarchy”

In the metaverse, there are all kinds of crimes that exist in the real world: sexual abuse, violence, theft, and threats. With a problem that is becoming increasingly serious: at the level of checks, complaints and punishments, everything is still zero. Currently, cyberlaw experts are demanding a discipline that regulates the rights and duties of avatars’ lives, thus avoiding the risk of digital “anarchy”.

However, the point is to establish the dispute. The attribution of identity and jurisdiction are currently among the most complicated elements to resolve in the event of a dispute. And although on the one hand there is a growing interest in the metaverse, and its social interaction with virtual reality, on the other hand, this is the same aspect that makes it challenging to establish rules of behavior.

Why is so difficult to talk about politics in the Metaverse?

Our tradition, represented by the ethical-political texts that have been orienting our Constitutions since Plato, is constituted by two models. The first is an observational model: what men do, what men feel, what men aspire to. The other one is a model as normative as possible: what men should do to live together). But the Metaverse can only take its models from that other world, the analog world, already oriented in a certain way (Constitutions already existing, ethics already oriented, crimes already possible).

We do not know whether the simulation promised by the Metaverse is partial or exhaustive. The experiment in the Metaverse is practical. Metacrime shows what would happen to our societies if stripped of their ethical-political tradition and placed in the service of one great need: “entering the Metaverse.”

That’s why it’s necessary to arrive ready

Gartner estimates that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse, for study, work, or entertainment of various kinds. Meanwhile, 30% of organizations will have metaverse-ready products and services. Goldman Sachs, on the other hand, estimates that the global metaverse market will be worth $ 8 trillion although it does not specify by when.

Facebook at the end of 2021 renamed itself Meta Platforms announcing an investment of 10 billion dollars in the business.

This influx of activity is attracting brands and consumers to the virtual world and is also leading to cases of cyberbullying as well as financial crime. Assuming that the rules of the real world are not valid in the digital world, proving that you have suffered a “metacrime” is very difficult. It is increasingly important to regulate all before it becomes unmanageable.

Read also:

  1. Business ethics for managers. An interview with Prof. Robert Barlow
  2. A brief guide to move into digital real estate
  3. Are you ready for the opportunities the metaverse will bring?

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