Facebook Horizon Shows Oculus ID, Not Real Name
Facebook’s multiplayer virtual reality social space, Facebook Horizon will not display users’ real names, only their Oculus IDs. This is in spite of the fact users’ Oculus accounts and Facebook accounts must be linked to use the OASIS-style VR playground. Others users will only see your Oculus ID.
Users won’t have to wait long either to lay their hands on the social VR space which immerses them into a collaborative world-building and game creation social VR platform on both Quest and Rift platforms. The invite-only beta for Facebook Horizon is set to kickstart soon. The preview of the platforms have already been released. Horizon is coming at a time when privacy concerns in the Facebook ecosystem are already a major issue and it will certainly been an issue in a Facebook social VR platform, especially coming soon after Facebook announced that users will in the future have to sign in with Facebook accounts into the Oculus hardware and software.
In an interview with UploadVR, the Facebook Reality Labs Head of Experiences and Product Marketing Meaghan Fitzgerald clarified that while users will have to log into Horizons with a Facebook account, they will still show up with their Oculus user ID to other people. Users will therefore not display their real names in Facebook Horizon but their Oculus username. This is to cater for people’s needs for differentiation between the people they hang with in VR and those they interact with via their real Facebook accounts.
Users will be able to add other people at the Oculus account-level and collaborate and build worlds together based on shared interests in VR without revealing their real Facebook accounts.
Facebook Will Invisibly Observe Horizon Users in Real-Time
Where users violate community guidelines and are reported and banned, then their identity will be visible to Facebook employees. Facebook’s safety experts will be able to monitor interactions whenever reports of violations are filed and will likely have the power to ban a user’s whole Facebook account altogether or ban it partially, such as by limiting its access to Facebook’s virtual reality content.
Fitzgerald continued that Facebook is implementing a number of safety measures to make the Horizon social space safe for users. One of these will of course involve deploying trained safety specialists who will monitor activities in case reports of violations or abuse are filed.
However, the safety measures go beyond the safety specialists. There is, for instance, the safe mode where users can file reports and also take action themselves. For example, they will be able to mute, block or pause someone or simply regroup and enter a zone where they are no longer interacting with other people. Facebook will be collecting feedback on the safety concerns during the beta in order to further improve and make it better.