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Very Very Concerned Parent of Teen Meta Account

JasD
Explorer

It was my son's birthday, a milestone, so we pushed the boat out and bought the Meta Quest 3.

 

We don't do social media, but we thought we were buying a Virtual Reality Games console.  It seems we might have been wrong.  After reluctantly getting Meta Accounts for me and my son, (oh, he is a "teen" so has to have his own account), I thought I had set all the settings to private etc.  I am not so sure now.

 

2 days in and he was playing and chatting to a 44 year old man from Austria on a ping-pong game.  What the actual ... ????? 

 

He hasn't, but he could, remove parent supervision from his account.  What!!?

 

Customer support are utterly useless and just send me links that bear no reflection to the pages I can see in my or his account.  And now the chat has disappeared altogether (have they blocked me?).  Not a single solitary phone line in the entire company.  How can one of the largest internet companies in the world not have a phone line.  It is a disgrace.

 

So can you help?

1. How do I check privacy settings? I set them all to private on setup but did it work, and now I can't find them in his or my account to check.

2. How do I stop strangers contacting him at all?  This should be a parental choice not his, I thought I had turned this off.  Clearly not.

3. How do I stop him turning off parental supervision?  He can do this in his account.  Why?

4. What games/settings should I block so that his experience is amazing but doesn't involve the potential dangers of an open internet?

 

As it stands, the interface is a serious risk to children.  Meta seems to be sharpening their knifes to reel him in for a data-mining  exercise and social media addiction, but they should know better, they have been told before.  It is an amazing piece of hardware and firmware controlled by an unscrupulous company that pay lip-service to, but have no regard for, his online safety.

 

So I am turning to this community for help.  Please help.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

The_1st_Dark_Lord_Morgoth
Meta Quest Support
Meta Quest Support

Hey, @JasD! I wanted to hop in on this conversation and offer some insight about what support is saying about Parent-Managed accounts. The link I shared explains how Meta allows parents to monitor and control their child's activity and choose appropriate games for them. Since every parent has different rules, not all T and M rated games are automatically banned.

Regarding banning users from games, it's up to the game developers to make that call. If someone is misbehaving, they should be reported to the developer for action. Meta doesn't decide who gets banned, we just provide the platform for the game, similar to Valve and PlayStation VR.

Parent-Managed accounts are a new feature that came out in September of last year, and while it may not be perfect, it's always changing and improving. The best place to voice your concerns on the forums, where we've seen features later implemented in future updates, are the Ideas boards. There, users and other developers trade suggestions and other ideas with each other that help improve VR for all of our users as well as keep it safe for our younger users. I hope this sheds some light on Parent-Managed accounts, and that your child can keep enjoying their headset under your supervision!

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The force shall free me.

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14 REPLIES 14

MetaQuestSupport
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hey there, @JasD!

 

We recognize that you are worried about your teen's safety and privacy when using the Quest device. For each and every one of our users, privacy and security come first. You may control how social you wish to be and how your information is shared with others by adjusting the privacy settings. We have an article here that allows you to manage your activity. 

 

Here is an article where you can manage your teen's social features; however, it does not prevent them from accessing social features within apps unless you block the app. There will be ratings on each game in the Meta Store that categorize games, such as for everyone, teens, everyone 10+, etc. Additionally, you can review an App's Privacy Data to see what it might request or have access to. 

 

Regarding safety and privacy for teenagers and their accounts, we really appreciate your feedback. Please let us know about any questions or concerns regarding this issue. Always feel free to post here or hit us up with a PM!

If you're the author of a thread, remember to mark a reply as the Accepted Solution to help others find answers!

Hi @MetaQuestSupport

 

Thank you for responding.

 

Having set all the privacy settings possible and it STILL allowing my son to be exposed to unknown users, I would appreciate the opportunity to talk this through with a Meta representative.

 

I do not have social media accounts so PM is not an option.  I would request a conversation in-person to an individual either by phone or via the Meta Quest 3 directly.  Can this be done?   There are clearly a lot of possible loop-holes through the security settings that may even be app dependent and regardless of age rating.  I would welcome the opportunity to review settings and apps with an agent so that my son can use the platform safely which I'm sure is what we all want.

 

Please let me know how you can arrange this.

 

Thank you in advance

Yes @JasD, we all want your son to be able to enjoy the Meta Quest platform safely and understand the importance of doing so. Although we aren't able to get you to speak to a representative in person, by phone, or via the Meta Quest 3, we are able to provide some additional information regarding a teen account for you. The links given in the previous message are all really helpful and we suggest you look into them. We do have one that is specific to preteens/teens and think this would be the best resource for you and you can find it here.

 

We also know that within certain apps/games they do have a block and report feature where you will be able to block other users and report them as well if you deem necessary. 

 

Hopefully this information helps and you are able to find some clarity. If you have anymore questions or concerns please shoot us a message. We will be more than happy to help!

If you're the author of a thread, remember to mark a reply as the Accepted Solution to help others find answers!

JasD
Explorer

Hi @MetaQuestSupport

 

Thank you for your response again.

 

It is a bit odd that it is remarkably easy to speak to a 44 year old male stranger from Austria on a ping-pong game, yet almost impossible to speak to a representative of the company that hosts all this activity.

 

"For each and every one of our users, privacy and security come first"

 

As long as it doesn't involve talking to said users.  So maybe privacy and security come a close second then?

 

As for your link, I have set everything to private and still rando's on the internet can contact my child,  potentially leading to something more sinister.  This is why I need to talk to someone.  The whole concept of children being in your Metaverse does raise an interesting question of Meta being in loco parentis, but perhaps that is a discussion for another day.  

 

However, in my opinion, the only way to resolve my issues and understanding of security and safety on your platform is for someone to contact me directly via telephone or using the Meta Quest 3.  It really is your duty and responsibility.

 

I am happy to arrange to meet a representative for a game of ping-pong and a catch-up, it seems so easy to do.  Please mean what you say when you say "privacy and security come first".

 

Thank you

We understand that it would be better for you to speak to someone in person or through the Meta Quest headset but our support is only available through, email, chat, WhatsApp, or through the community forums. If you would like to reach out to our other avenues of support that were just listed, you can do that here

 

As far as what is aloud within some games and apps, the developers have control over who they allow to play their games and it may be best to contact the developer of Ping Pong app you are specifically referring to.

 

If you have anymore questions or concerns once you've reached out to our other avenues of support please shoot us another message and we will try to provide you with information that may give more insight. 

If you're the author of a thread, remember to mark a reply as the Accepted Solution to help others find answers!

Can you confirm/answer the following:

 

1. How do I check privacy settings? I can't find them in his or my account to check and no-one has yet posted an instruction link that works.

2. How do I stop strangers contacting him at all?

3. How do I stop him turning off parental supervision?

4. What games/settings should I block so that his experience is amazing but doesn't involve the potential dangers of an open internet?

5. That privacy setting e.g. no chat or voice channel with strangers, is app dependent and under the control of the developer not Meta?

6.  Please provide a comprehensive list of apps and their permissions (in a single web page if it helps) of all apps using your platform and what, as a parent, type of contact I can expect from strangers when my son uses them.

 

I think you can see from above how useful a voice chat would be on this subject.  Cut-and-paste web links are unlikely to resolve my concerns and this might be a very long thread.

 

Please address the above points by number so that we can be sure they are resolved.

 

 

Thank you

Hey there, @JasD! We understand how important it is to keep your kid safe while playing in VR. We want you, as parents, to feel safe while your son is playing all his favorite games. Safety is extremely important to us, and we want all our users to be safe while playing with the headset. You are able to check the privacy settings on the device here. In order to learn more about how to keep your child safe while playing in his new Quest 3, use this link, and it will help answer your questions and ease any concerns that you are having about keeping your son safe while he is playing. In order to find some more games that your son will love and that are appropriate for him, we suggest that you ask in our community forums here. The community is the best way to learn what others love and what they feel is safe for their kids. 

If you're the author of a thread, remember to mark a reply as the Accepted Solution to help others find answers!

JasD
Explorer

Hi @MetaQuestSupport 

 

You are refusing to address my questions which is not helpful.  I will state them again at the end of this response.

 

Re your first link "Privacy Settings":

Are you saying that I can not do this via parental supervision on the Family Center and that my child can chose his own security settings?  You do realise the issue with this don't you?

 

Re: Your second link "A safer VR space for families":

1. I have set-up the account for my child.  The features available do not keep him safe and he can easily override them with the options you provide, e.g. turnoff parental supervision

2.  Setting a time limit does not keep my child safe, just limits the time he is exposed to danger.

3. As discussed above, he can override security setting.

4.  Account for teens.  Again he can override security settings and limiting him to use age appropriate apps does not stop predators using the app and being able to talk to and possibly groom my child.

 

It is quite simple Meta, apps should respect the age of the minor and their security setting and it should not be up to the developer to provide mechanisms for strangers to contact and talk to him, particularly if it is against parental wishes.  It is important for Meta to understand and enforce this.

 

Your classification of a "teen" is at best bogus.  In the UK anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child.  The concept of teen does not exist in the form you use it.  There are levels of competency, responsibility and entitlement with age, however, most do not match your transition age of 13 and for good reason.  For further information please read (it is a very concise, useful and important summary)

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-protection-system/children-the-law

 

 

Re your 3rd link link "VR Forums":

The fact that I am contacting you via the page in this link would suggest I have already found this.

 

So please do more than just posting links.  Address and add clarification to the points above and also those stated again below;

 

1. How do I check privacy settings? I can't find them in his or my account to check and no-one has yet posted an instruction link that works.

2. How do I stop strangers contacting him at all?

3. How do I stop him turning off parental supervision?

4. What games/settings should I block so that his experience is amazing but doesn't involve the potential dangers of an open internet?

5. That privacy setting e.g. no chat or voice channel with strangers, is app dependent and under the control of the developer not Meta?

6.  Please provide a comprehensive list of apps and their permissions (in a single web page if it helps) of all apps using your platform and what, as a parent, type of contact I can expect from strangers when my son uses them.

 

Thank you

 

 

 

 

Hi @JasD, as mentioned previously, the resources we have provided are the options related to parent managed accounts. We completely understand your concerns regarding your child's exposure to other users. Which is why we have policies in place to help ensure whichever options you feel fit for your child's account. Meta policy regarding "Teen" accounts does start from 13 and above. Alternatively, if you wish, you can make a Meta account and assign your account as the primary account for the Meta Quest 3. This will allow you to app share for games you deem as appropriate for the secondary account on the device, in this case your child's account. However we cannot restrict other users on games you or your child chooses to play. If your child does come across something seemed abusive either by another play or content within a title you can report a user via the headset.

 

Regarding your request for apps that have permission options, all games and apps on our store provides ratings through the ESRB based off the type of content for each title. We would not be able to provide a list of every game and app as there are hundreds of apps and games. 

 

We do hope this provides some additional options and resources for your concerns. Thank you!

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