Sections

Roblox bans players who 'gang raped' a seven-year-old's avatar

Developer stresses it has a “zero tolerance” policy for this behaviour as US mother complains about in-game assault

Original story (4/7/18): Popular kids game Roblox is under fire after it has emerged that a handful of players teamed up to "violently gang rape" the character of a seven-year-old girl.

The incident emerged when mother Amber Petersen posted a warning for parents on Facebook, describing how two male characters had assaulted her daughter's avatar, before being joined by another female.

She also included screenshots in the comments below her post, which show that one of the males had crafted virtual genitals for his character.

Speaking to the BBC, a Roblox spokesperson confirmed it has banned the player responsible, and added that the developer was "outraged" that a "bad actor" had violated its code of conduct.

"We have zero tolerance for this behaviour," the spokesperson continued. "Our work to ensure a safe platform is always evolving and remains a top priority for us."

Oddly, Petersen reports that she and her husband had set the game's security settings to maximum, and yet this inappropriate content was still seen. GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Roblox for clarification and further comment.

In the Facebook post, Petersen said she felt "quite traumatised and violated on so many levels", later urging other parents to delete the app and prevent their children from playing it.

Roblox has 64 million players around the world, most of which are young people. The title revolves around creating your own characters and structures in a similar fashion to Minecraft, while also allowing users to create their own games that can then be sold using the in-game marketplace.

It has been attacked before for some of the ways its users abuse this functionality. Just last month, there were reports of a six-year-old girl being invited to an 'online sex room' built within Roblox. The game was taken down immediately, but the story continues to spread.

Update (5/7/18): GamesIndustry.biz today received the Robolox statement in full.

"We were outraged to learn that Roblox's community policies and Rules of Conduct were subverted," said a spokesperson for the developer.

"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.

"In addition, the offender was identified and has been permanently banned from the platform and we have suspended the game. We have zero tolerance for this behaviour. Our work to ensure a safe platform is always evolving and remains a top priority for us."

Related stories

Roblox closes on $150 million Series F funding round

Company's largest funding round to date will go toward continued international expansion

By Rebekah Valentine

Roblox: “Our work on safety is never-ending”

Developer behind popular kids game responds to recent gang rape incident, reiterates that hacker behind it has been banned

By James Batchelor

Latest comments

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.