BigScreen is adding user protection features to its virtual hangouts this week

Meeting people is great. Communities have been developed since the inception of the internet to allow those interested in different subjects to congregate and talk about any topic imaginable. Most of these communities have been forums where users write messages to one another, but with the introduction of VR technology, users are now able to meet face to face and talk in virtual chat rooms with little to no restrictions. One such virtual chat room, BigScreen, has recently blown up in a big way, but as with any internet hosted application, there are trolls who roam the net solely to make other people’s lives miserable.

BigScreen launched extremely recently, but is already filling up quickly with users from all over. The application allows people to meet up in virtual chat rooms, and so far has been a blast for users. Unfortunately, people have recently been coming into rooms with the sole purpose of ruining other people’s days, which has been causing a lot of unwanted annoyance and stress for some users. One such user on Reddit going by the name of GiantEraser had this to say about his experience with the program:

I think that was me who posted that. It was such a surreal experience. Me and a guy from Norway were chatting and a random user pops in and starts mirroring a decapitation video.

The guy I was chatting with was really disturbed by it and we quickly left to another room. I’ve been able to shelter myself from extreme gore like that while on the internet but have finally been exposed to it in VR haha.

Other than that experience, Meeting cool people and chatting with them is definitely a blast!

I look forward to seeing its development and protection features.

You can tell from his wording just how great of an experience the application can be, but also how frustrating it is for users to burst into chat rooms just to ruin people’s days. The problem has been pretty widespread as of late, and the developers have reached out to a few users to describe how they are aiming on fixing the problem. After an equally disturbing experience happened to Paul Miller from the Verge, the developers sent him this message, apologizing for the issue, and laying out a plan on how they are going to help users avoid internet trolls. In a letter to Paul, they stated,

I’m extremely sorry that happened to you Paul. I realize we can’t do anything to erase it from your memory but we’re going to make sure this doesn’t happen to people in the future.

Our team of two launched the product four days ago as a very early beta to start getting user feedback. We underestimated the community would grow so fast and figured protection features such as quickly blocking, muting and reporting other users wouldn’t be needed in the first week. We were wrong. An extremely small numbers of users have misused the software to harm others and we need to build protection features right away. Currently, you can report a user’s Steam account, but we understand that’s not good enough. We are adding muting, blocking and other protection features by the end of the week.

Our goal is to build Skype, not Chatroulette and we already have private rooms to fulfill this purpose. The aim of public rooms is for people to meet other VR enthusiasts. We’re hoping these new updates will make the app a safer place and again I want to personally apologize for your experience.

As you can see, the developers are taking the situation very seriously, and are working to make sure users have a much better experience within the week. That’s a pretty fast response for a development team of 2 people, and if they are successfully able to pull it off, the application could continue to grow at an astonishing rate.

Are you interested in trying out the application? It’s available on Steam, so check it out now.

via: The Verge

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