Popular online gaming platform Roblox is under fire for false advertising of being child-safe, and parents are not happy with how much money they’ve spent on the platform, only to find out their children are getting groomed, sent porn links, and being asked to perform sexual favors, among other things.
Businesswire reports multiple families are suing the Roblox corporation for exploiting children online. You may have heard the recent story about the 27-year-old man being charged with kidnapping an 11-year-old girl he groomed on online gaming platforms, mostly on Roblox, but now there’s a civil action filed by parents. These families claim they lost significant amounts of money to the platform “after relying on Roblox’s representations that the site was safe and appropriate for their children,” the article notes.
According to the article, “In an amended complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court, filed by Walsh Law, PLLC, and Andrews & Thornton, the plaintiffs accuse Roblox of intentional and negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and State Consumer Protection Acts.”
Alexandra Walsh, Founder of Walsh Law, said in the article that there’s a misconception that Roblox is safe, because of the false advertisement from the company to parents. “Parents who would never let their kids use TikTok don’t think twice about letting them on Roblox, even though what they encounter on Roblox can be far more harmful,” she said.
She also claims that parents are misled about the “efficacy of Roblox’s filtering technologies” and its ability to make the site safe and appropriate for children. Nude avatars, avatar engaging in intercourse, the use of sex toys, and virtual strip clubs are all getting through these filters, per the complaint.
One plaintiff said she set up her seven-year-old son with an account in 2021, and she has spent more than $4,000 on the platform, thinking the game was a safe environment for her child. This mom discovered that “multiple users sent her child abusive and profane messages” through the Roblox messaging service, where one user asked her son to perform virtual oral sex on his avatar, while another asked her son to show them his genitals. Another called him a racial slur, according to the article.
Another plaintiff said her daughter started using the platform when she was 9 years old, and she encountered inks sent to her daughter’s account that redirected to porn websites. This mom found out by linking her daughter’s account to her own.
A third plaintiff claims his 12-year-old daughter had formed an online relationship with another user who said they were the same age, only to find out that it was a senior woman who attempted to groom his daughter and send messages of sexual nature to her.
While the Roblox community guidelines state: “Roblox is a safe space for meeting online friends, chatting, and collaborating on creative projects,” this is just not the case.