Roblox is facing difficulties with moderating recreations of mass shootings in-game.
As reported by The Verge, Anti-Defamation League researcher Daniel Kelley has spotted numerous recreations of New Zealand’s Christchurch mass shootings on the community-driven platform.
Most recently, Kelley spotted one of the recreations when creating a presentation on how to report offending content. The Verge had confirmed Kelley’s finding and located two different servers that focus on the shooting via simply searching 'Chirstchurch'.
Roblox confirmed that the aforementioned servers have since been removed from the platform. The company stated that references to the Christchurch mass shooting are increasingly difficult to block through text searches as a "catchall filter" would block all references to the city.
Earlier this year, Roblox went public with an impressive first day, after claiming in an IPO filing that over half of children under 16 in the US have played the game. In the same filing, the company named community moderation as a potential risk to the business, stating that if it cannot provide a "safe environment" then the business would "suffer dramatically".
"Each game on Roblox is potentially a social platform in and of itself, and can potentially give refuge to players of all ages who are flirting with or fully engaged with hateful ideologies online," said Kelley (via The Verge).
"Every space that allows for the veneration of hateful ideologies contributes to the normalisation of these ideologies and their spread."
Addressing the in-game servers found by Kelley, a Roblox spokesperson stated: "We promptly removed this experience from Roblox after it was brought to our attention and suspended the user responsible for violating our Community Rules."
"We do not tolerate racism, discriminatory speech, or content related to tragic events. We have a stringent safety and monitoring system that is continuously active and that we rigorously and proactively enforce."
I swear to God, I would like one time to search for "Christchurch" on Roblox and not find a new recreation of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooting on a game platform aimed at very young children. https://t.co/SovJq00knY pic.twitter.com/0BvRtGYZHE— Daniel Kelley (@danieljkelley) August 13, 2021
Roblox is currently facing a $200 million lawsuit over alleged music misuse in-game, from artists such as Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.
Roblox saw a revenue rise of 127 per cent to $454 million for Q2, 2021, with strong player growth in Asia-Pacific countries.