Roblox developer Roblox Corporation has permanently banned a player from the platform following the virtual assault of a seven-year-old girl’s avatar last week. In a statement on the assault, the company said that it was “outraged” to learn of the incident, and is taking action to “reduce the possibility of this happening again in the future.”
The incident emerged after a Facebook post by the girl’s mother stated that her daughter’s Roblox avatar was “gang raped” by three other players. Amber Petersen says that despite the game’s 24-hour moderation, and personally ensuring that the game’s security settings were at maximum, her daughter was still able to encounter the three players. One of them had fashioned male genitals for their character.
In her Facebook post (which features screenshots of the incident) Petersen references the fact that Roblox is declared suitable for ages 7+ by PEGI, the European game rating system, and boasts up to 64 million players worldwide. PEGI says that Roblox does feature scenes of mild violence, but it’s important to note that content generated by other users - which makes up a significant part of the Roblox experience - cannot be rated by PEGI.
In a statement to Gamesindustry.biz, a spokesperson for Roblox Corporation said that “We were outraged to learn that Roblox’s community policies and rules of conduct were subverted. We have identified how this bad actor created the offending action and are putting additional safeguards in place to reduce the possibility of this happening again in the future.” The statement also reveals that the player “has been permanently banned from the platform,” and the minigame in which the incident took place “has been suspended.”
The spokesperson further emphasised that “We have zero tolerance for this behaviour. Our work to ensure a safe platform is always evolving and remains a top priority for us.”
We’ve reached out to Roblox Corporation for details about the additional safeguarding measures mentioned in the statement.