A new report from the BBC highlights issues with sexual content in Roblox.
Though the gaming platform is popular among young people, the investigation shows that Roblox contains sexually explicit games often known as “condos”. Here players can discuss sexually explicit topics and engage in virtual sex.
And while these games are hard to find and aren’t up for long, Roblox does accept it has an issue with sexually inappropriate content.
“We know there is an extremely small subset of users who deliberately try to break the rules,” a Roblox spokesperson told the BBC.
“We have zero tolerance for sexual content or behaviour of any kind, and we take swift action against anyone found to be acting in breach of our Community Standards.”
In a recent blog post, Roblox committed to ensuring its gaming platform is a positive and safe experience for players of all ages and details a number of ways the company is promoting safety and protecting its community.
The post appears to be in response to a number of high profile reports on the platform, in particular it being an unsafe environment for children, and its exploitation of children.
The new blog post addresses many concerns with the platform, including its “safety-first culture”, responsible creation, and ensuring a fair economy.
“At Roblox, our vision is to reimagine how people come together. We have created a place where millions of users, creators, and developers across the globe build and share experiences and form friendships,” reads the post.
“We are committed to ensuring people of all ages have a positive and safe experience, and are free to express themselves within a respectful environment. That’s why safety and civility have been our core values from the very beginning and drive everything we do.”
Detailing features aimed to protect children in particular, the post highlights parental control settings, chat filters, its digital civility initiative, and reporting abuse and grooming to relevant authorities.
Much of this does depend on the digital-savviness of parents. The Safety and Civility pages contain further information.
Roblox also addresses issues with the platform’s economy, which was heavily criticised for its extortionate pricing and comparisons to gambling.
It maintains that “creating an experience on Roblox is significantly less expensive than trying to do so off-platform or in any app stores and the financial rewards are potentially very large.
“We build our platform to make the economics of creating on Roblox favourable to developers, but we have always made clear that the platform is not a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme. It typically takes many hours of hard work for developers to hone their skills and grow their experience before they may be able to start earning real-world income. Such a commitment won’t be right for everyone.”
In addition: “We do not tolerate fraud and scams, and have stringent rules and monitoring processes aimed at combating them.
“Developer earnings resulting from the trading of collectibles are not eligible to be converted into real-world currency in our DevEx program.”
Lastly, the post expresses that the team is strengthening its safety systems.
“At Roblox, we’re proud to be one of the most civil places on the internet. As it has been since our earliest days, safety is, and will continue to be, our top priority, and we are committed to continually improving our systems to keep it that way,” reads the post.
Recent reports certainly appear to contradict this statement, so it remains to be seen whether community safety vastly improves in the near future.