Nazi uniforms, virtual sex, bondage, the hidden side of Roblox

With over 200 million monthly active users, Roblox is a hugely popular online game for kids. A disturbing BBC report, however, found virtual sex and inappropriate behavior to be rampant on the platform.

Roblox is unquestionably one of the most popular online games in the world. More than 200 million players connect to the platform every month. Aimed particularly at the youngest, Roblox owes a large part of its popularity to its creative freedom and the interactions between players. On Roblox, children create and participate in their own games while interacting with other players.

RobloxRoblox – Credit: Roblox Corporation

However, the games and interactions found on Roblox are not all necessarily “kid friendly”. A BBC report dove deep into Roblox to learn more about the online game very popular with children. The findings are rather disturbing. Between virtual sex, inappropriate behavior and interactions with adults, are the millions of children of Roblox really safe?

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Roblox: virtual sex, inappropriate behavior, are children in danger on the platform?

Roblox players indulge in virtual sex, or cybersex, in games called “condos”. The BBC describes a scene discovered in one of these games: “A naked man, wearing only a dog collar and leash, is dragged across the floor by a woman in bondage. Two strippers are dancing next to a bar. A group gathered around a couple openly having sex, watching and commenting occasionally. A man wears a Nazi uniform.

As shocking as it is for children, this kind of scene is not an isolated case. Roblox is well aware of these issues. Developers use manual and automated systems to spot and remove “condos”. Larry Magid, President of ConnectSafely which is a non-profit organization raising awareness of online child safety explained that “Roblox is a very popular platform with children and allows children under 13, so it has a special responsibility to protect its users”. The hunt for sexually explicit content however, is not obvious. Gamers are using ingenuity to circumvent restrictions and hijack the platform’s creative freedom for sexual purposes.

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Adults and children can easily communicate through Roblox’s instant messenger

Faced with this scandal, Roblox ensures that the “condos” are difficult to find for young players. However, the BBC also discovered inappropriate sexual language in normal games popular with children. Another problem the platform faces is the ease of interaction with other players. Adults can easily communicate with children via instant messaging Game.

Following the BBC report, the developers of Roblox have shared a new statement on how they are protecting the user community. Roblox also told the BBC that “we have zero tolerance for sexual content or behavior of any kind, and we take swift action against anyone who acts in violation of our Community Standards.” To protect their children on the platform, parents have access to parental control tools. These allow in particular to limit the interactions and the content to which children can access.

Source: BBC

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