ROBLOX is a platform for creating small multiplayer games and other experiences, and is heavily marketed a kid-friendly game.
It is rated as suitable for those 7 and up in Europe by PEGI, but that doesn’t take into account all of the different games on the service.
These range from innocent games such as Pizza Factory or Jelly Mining simulator to role-playing servers where users can pretend to be animals, solve murder mysteries and more.
You can limit Roblox to just show a “curated” selection of games which are vetted as suitable for those under 13, but this is not enabled by default.
The site is also a haven for more sinister role-playing, including people pretending to be Nazis or even the Ku Klux Klan.
YouTube is also awash with examples of players recreating porn in the game too.
One mum was recently horrified to discover that her daughter had gone into a game on Roblox only to see her character “gang raped”.
After that incident, the developer recently said it was “outraged” to learn its rules had been “subverted” by a “bad actor”.
They say they have identified how the “offending action” was created, and have both banned the user for life and put extra blocks in place to “reduce the possibility of this happening again.”
Roblox’s safety settings mean that parents “have the ability to limit or disable entirely who can chat with them”, while restrictions can be put in place to ensure children can only access “curated content”, meaning games which are suitable for those under 13.
Peterson said she had turned up the privacy settings to maximum for her daughter’s account.
Police in Kent, meanwhile, reported in January they have been told by pupils at one school of “adult things” they had seen while using Roblox.
In a letter sent home from Bredhurst Primary School, Gillingham, cops told parents: “Most children disclosed that they had online friends in Roblox that their parents didn’t know about.
“It got worse when many of the children stated they had received many in-game messages from ‘strangers’ and that they hadn’t told their parents.
“All of the children had seen ‘naked’ characters doing very adult things.”
Tami Bhaumik, vice president of marketing and community safety, said: “While we applaud the precautions of the head teacher at Bredhurst primary school, her letter is based on false and misleading facts from an online safety site blog post that was first published in October 2017.
“All games on Roblox must comply with our Rules of Conduct.
“Our safety team reviews every uploaded image, video, and audio file used within our games to make sure they are safe and age appropriate. “Parental involvement is critical to a fun and safe experience.
“To that end we have created extensive parental controls for our games and a detailed Roblox Parent’s Guide that provides information to parents to help create a Roblox experience that’s best for their child.”
The UK Safer Internet Centre warns that while the games are “aimed” at 8- to 18-year-olds, there are no age restrictions which “means both adults and young people can play and communicate with each other on the platform.”
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