Hi! My name is Laura and I’m the Director of Community Safety and Digital Civility at Roblox! This is my first guest blog post for iD Tech, and I hope to provide some helpful advice about Roblox and, more generally, how to keep your family safe online.
Let’s start with a quick overview of Roblox, which is one of the world’s largest user-generated platforms with over 100 million players per month. Each and every one of the over 60 million possible experiences on Roblox has been built by a global community of creators who use our free game development tool suite, Roblox Studio.
We appeal to a broad range of ages, with many players joining when they are about seven years old and growing with us into their early 20’s.
Budding developers learn coding and game design, then build their own games on Roblox for others to play. Some creators have even gone on to launch successful careers in game development and now run their own studios, such as RedManta Studio who developed the popular game Robloxian High School.
How and why Roblox pushes for safety
Being responsible for an online community of so many young people is a big task. We make user safety our number one priority above all else.
We believe in the idea of #safetybydesign, building safety tools and systems into the platform design from the bottom up. We’ve adopted a multi-layered approach to safety, using a mixture of:
- Technical tools
- Chat filters
- Machine learning
- Human moderation
We also encourage and empower our community to help by reporting issues to us.
We can’t do all of this alone, however; parents play a key role in keeping kids safe on Roblox.
To help, we have produced a suite of tools for parents so they can remain in control of their child’s experience. This includes, but isn’t limited to, the opportunity for parents to:
- Set a PIN for their child’s account
- Turn chat on or off
- Curate a list of games suited to their child’s age (if the child is under 13)
Given the above, setting the right date of birth for your child’s account is really important as it provides a more strictly filtered text chat (we still don’t allow swear words or mean chat for over 13s!).
Check out our recently updated parents site to learn more.
In addition to equipping parents with practical tools in-platform, we believe that we also have a responsibility to help provide education and advice so that parents feel more confident when supporting their kids and teens with online issues.
This is such a huge topic—one which many parents feel out of their depth managing—and it goes way beyond Roblox! We understand that many kids use a range of apps and websites, games, and online chat forums, so it’s tricky to stay on top.
With that in mind, we try to provide busy parents with useful advice and quick tips that apply across ALL platforms. We work in partnership with many safety organizations all over the world and have a Safety Advisory Board which consists of global leaders in online safety who provide us with guidance and advice on how to make our platform as safe as possible.
One area we want to focus on this coming year is on user and family feedback. It is important to us that we listen to our players, as they are the best source of information regarding what is really happening on the platform.
In the end, we believe it takes a collaborative approach to keep kids safe online—and safety doesn’t just apply on Roblox, of course. The same advice applies across all platforms.
So, join us on our next post, which covers tips on how to ensure you and your family stay as safe as possible while online.
Until then, learn how your child can go from Roblox creator to entrepreneur at one iD Tech’s Roblox summer camps!