UPDATE 11/20: A Roblox representative provided the following comment regarding the lawsuit:
“We dispute the charges and will respond in court. Roblox is committed to providing a positive and safe experience for people of all ages. We have a team of thousands of experts dedicated to moderation and safety on Roblox 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we promptly block inappropriate content or behavior when detected, including sexually explicit content that violates our rules. Community Standards. We have a number of features specifically designed to keep children safe, including text chat filtering on the platform to block inappropriate content or personal information, as well as parental controls and features to limit or mute chat. We’ve invested in tools to help parents see their children’s activity, including preventing unauthorized purchases.
We also work with more than 20 of the world’s leading organizations focused on child safety, online safety, or both, and are part of a number of industry organizations developing best practices for keeping users, especially children, safe.”
Back in August, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Roblox, alleging that the gaming platform facilitates illegal gambling for children, and now the company is named in yet another civil lawsuit, this time from families who claim they lost a large amount of money. after Roblox said the site was “safe and appropriate” for children.
The complaint, filed in San Diego Superior Court, accuses Roblox of “intentional and negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, violations of the California Unfair Competition Act, the False Advertising Act, the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and the State Consumer Privacy Act.” .
The complaint notes that in order to participate in the Roblox community, players, who are often young children, are required to use Robux, a digital currency that children may not realize is tied to real, real-world currency, or may not be able to appreciate the value due to their age.
“Roblox is an amazingly popular platform, on par with Barbie and Lego as a one-word brand name that inspires trust among parents and educators. But that trust is misplaced and completely undeserved,” said Anne Andrews, founding partner of Andrews & Thornton, one of the law firms involved in the suit. “Parents need to be aware of the dangers children face in the Roblox metaverse, and children need to know that when they spend Robux, they are spending their parents’ real money.
“Roblox claims to do everything it can to keep children safe, but systems that monitor inappropriate behavior often fail, and the platform makes it nearly impossible for parents to monitor, track and quantify where and how children spend their money.”
According to a February 2022 SEC report, 60% of Roblox users are under 16 years of age, 23% of these users are between the ages of 9 and 12, and 22% are under 9 years of age.
The lawsuit alleges that parents encountered their children playing with “nude avatars, avatars engaging in sexual acts and using sex toys, and virtual strip clubs.” Some parents also mention cases of grooming on the platform, as well as sending children links to pornographic sites.
Parents claim that despite Roblox’s community guidelines, which state, “If your child is under 13, we make it extremely difficult for strangers to contact them on Roblox,” almost all safety measures on the platform are disabled by default.