#HerMetaverseToo - Gender-based Hate and Abuse in the Metaverse: The Case of Female Athletes

Procopiou, Andria and Piki, Andriani orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0376-1713 (2024) #HerMetaverseToo - Gender-based Hate and Abuse in the Metaverse: The Case of Female Athletes. In: 2023 10th International Conference on Behavioural and Social Computing (BESC), 30 October-1 November 2023, Larnaca, Cyprus.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1109/BESC59560.2023.10386459

Abstract

Metaverse applications are gaining popularity globally, empowering immersive virtual reality experiences and dynamic social interactions among users. The Metaverse sports arena is also expanding as athletes and their fans extend their interactions from long-established social media to the Metaverse. Unfortunately, the female population is subject to more hate, abuse, and discrimination on social media. A special case concerns female athletes, who are on the receiving end of such acts. Despite the male-dominated sports world, female athletes are generally more engaging with their fans and strive to inspire their audience more actively in comparison to their male counterparts. Inevitably, as female athletes craft their virtual selves, the risks and threats they are currently exposed to on social media may also emerge in the Metaverse. In this paper, we aim to explore how gender-based hate and abuse could potentially manifest in the Metaverse and under what circumstances. Suggested countermeasures are proposed to mitigate potential threats to both female athletes and their fans, also extending on the overall female population’s safety, privacy, mental health, and wellbeing.


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