Oculus announced an update yesterday that enabled screen casting to it’s standalone virtual reality headset, Oculus Go.

In a effort to increase user safety on their platform, the company launched a new security feature which lets user send video reports to their Safety Center, when other users have breaks the company’s code of conduct.

This new function is now live on Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR, and it will be coming to Rift next month. It lets user to record a two and half-minute video, so you can report when other users have done in what the company consider as abusive content or behavior.

This new function allows user to send both text and video reports inside any VR app or game inside the Oculus platform. The report will be reviewed by the Oculus Community Operations team. In order to report abusive behavior, you have to submit the Video Report option from the Oculus menu at the time when the offense takes place.

Oculus’ code of conduct bans the following user behaviors, while a user is inside a VR games or apps on the Oculus platform:

  • You may not use or promote sexually explicit, abusive or obscene content.
  • You may not use or promote language or content that would qualify as hateful or racially offensive. We don’t allow content that attacks people based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, diseases or disability.
  • You may not harass, bully, threaten other users, or encourage other users to do so.
  • You may not encourage, celebrate or promote real-world violence.
  • You may not encourage or promote illegal activity.
  • You may not impersonate an Oculus employee, partner, representative, other real person or encourage other users to do so.

Oculus did not further explain whether punitive actions are platform-wide, or whether if it only affect a user’s ability to join a specific game or app, where the offense took place.

Taking a Virtual Step Back

It is apparent that the company is broadening its safety measures. It invariably drives the point that the company’s virtual reality platform as moving forward with many of same conduct policies as seen on main social networks and video streaming platforms, such as matching those seen on Facebook.

VR cuts a bit closer to the bone than Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube though, as people casually transmit their voices, actions for extended periods of time, but also a surprising amount of user data to Facebook during that process.

According to Oculus’ Privacy Policy, the package of user data includes:

  • information about the people, content, and experiences you connect to and how you interact with them across Oculus Services.
  • depending on which Services you use, user-submitted information about your physical features and dimensions.
  • information about content you create using Oculus Services, such as your avatar, a picture you post, or an object you sculpt.
  • content and information that other people provide when they use the Services. This can include information about you, like when they send us an abuse report that refers to or contains video of you.
  • information about your environment, physical movements, and dimensions when you use an XR device. For example, when you set up the Oculus Guardian System to alert you when you approach a boundary, we receive information about the play area that you have defined
  • information through device settings you choose, such as your photos or audio content.

Side note: that data rests with Facebook and its partners unless you willfully delete it according to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And should a user actually break a local law while using Oculus’ services, the company also has the right to access, preserve and share information with regulators, law enforcement or others regardless of legal jurisdiction. Oculus tempers this somewhat when it says the offense must also be “consistent with internationally recognized standards.”

It appears now the company intent to strictly enforce good user behavior through its legal code of conduct. Muting, hiding and hindering users on a case-by-case basis isn’t enough for the company any more, as it makes way for the excess of users on its path to what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes will be 1 billion user one day.

These lines are drawn so the company hopes will one day be a positive and approachable environment moving forward.

Author: VR Reporter

I am a hi-tech enthusiast, VR evangelist, and a Co-founder & Chief Director at Virtual Reality Reporter!

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