Roblox Gang Rape
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Roblox Gang Rape refers to the response to a Facebook post in which a mother details an account of her daughter's avatar being sexually assaulted in the video game Roblox. The post received significant media attention with many questioning the rules and moderation responsibilities of online games.
On June 28th, 2018, Facebook user Amber Petersen posted an account of her daughter's Roblox avatar being "gang raped" in the video game. The post included pictures of the attack as well as images of her daughter's avatar afterwards (shown below). The post received more than 2,600 reactions and 8,000 shares in two weeks. She wrote:
"While laying in bed with my daughter this morning, I was reading aloud to her from one of my favorite childhood chapter books. At the same time, she was playing her favorite game Roblox on her iPad while listening to the story. All of a sudden, she stopped me from reading and showed me her screen.
"At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My sweet and innocent daughter’s avatar was being VIOLENTLY GANG-RAPED ON A PLAYGROUND by two males. A female observer approached them and proceeded to jump on her body at the end of the act. Then the 3 characters ran away, leaving my daughter’s avatar laying on her face in the middle of the playground.
"Words cannot describe the shock, disgust, and guilt that I am feeling right now, but I’m trying to put those feelings aside so I can get this warning out to others as soon as possible."
"WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND UPSETTING SCREENSHOTS IN THE COMMENTS. DO NOT VIEW WITH CHILDREN PRESENT. OR JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT AND SPARE YOURSELF ALTOGETHER. I am beyond disgusted to post these photos, but they provide the proof for what I am about to describe in case anyone suspects this could be a bogus story.
I’m struggling with where to begin here because I’m feeling quite traumatized and violated on so many levels. After what just took place this morning, I’m actually questioning whether or not I should allow my precious 7-year-old daughter to have access to a screen ever again. It’s THAT bad.
This horrifying experience involves the popular app Roblox, dubbed the “number one gaming site for kids.” With the second most accessible rating of PEGI 7, Roblox is recommended for children ages 7 and up and it currently has 64 million users. The game contains a multiplayer online gaming platform that allows users to create their own personal avatar, as well as their own adventures (similar to MineCraft). Roblox also provides the opportunity to interact with others’ virtual realities, which is a popular feature of this game.
Roblox also has security settings that allow the parent to block outside conversations and invitations. There are also 24-hour moderators that are hired to block any potentially inappropriate content. When my husband and I decided to allow our daughter to play this game, we adjusted the security settings to maximum privacy. Or at least we THOUGHT we did…
While laying in bed with my daughter this morning, I was reading aloud to her from one of my favorite childhood chapter books. At the same time, she was playing her favorite game Roblox on her iPad while listening to the story. All of a sudden, she stopped me from reading and showed me her screen.
At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My sweet and innocent daughter’s avatar was being VIOLENTLY GANG-RAPED ON A PLAYGROUND by two males. A female observer approached them and proceeded to jump on her body at the end of the act. Then the 3 characters ran away, leaving my daughter’s avatar laying on her face in the middle of the playground.
Words cannot describe the shock, disgust, and guilt that I am feeling right now, but I’m trying to put those feelings aside so I can get this warning out to others as soon as possible. Thankfully, I was able to take screenshots of what I was witnessing so people will realize just how horrific this experience was. screenshots in comments for those who can stomach it Although I was immediately able to shield my daughter from seeing the entire interaction, I am shuddering to think of what kind of damage this image could have on her psyche, as well as any other child that could potentially be exposed to this.
Parents/Caregivers…I urge you to take another look at the security settings on all of your devices and closely supervise your child if you allow them to continue playing games with online platforms such as Roblox. Better yet, perhaps you can join me in taking the rest of this summer to challenge your child to PUT AWAY THEIR SCREENS….AND READ!!! Books cannot be hacked, but sadly, I’ve learned the hard way that a child’s innocence can be just at the touch of a button.
Also, I urge people to share this post to get this important message out to others. I’m not sure that I’m prepared for all of the trolling and criticism, but I’ll deal with it knowing that even one child can be spared from experiencing such a hideous situation.
Thank you for your time. ❤️
EDIT: over the past few days, I have received hundreds of private messages. Thank you to those of you who have reached out and given your support and heartfelt concerns. I wish I could respond to everyone, but it’s not possible right now, as I am tied up caring for my medically fragile son. Many have also sent friend requests, but I cannot accept them for privacy purposes. It sounds like many are looking to access my screenshots in the comment section. If you click on the post itself, you will be able to see the comments. If you have the time, I encourage people to read some of them. There has been some thoughtful dialogue between my Facebook friends and myself, as well as several shared stories/references that perhaps may be of value.
Thanks again, everyone, for your support and for helping get this very important message out to parents, caregivers, and children. 😊
Two weeks later, Petersen posted a followup, indicating that she has been contacted by _Roblox_'s support and moderation team to resolve the issue, which was blamed on a "hacker." She wrote:
"First off, I want to make it clear that I do not blame Roblox for what happened. This was the fault of a HACKER, not the company. Shortly after I reported the abuse and wrote my Facebook post, Roblox quickly responded and determined that the offending avatars were hacked by an outside user. Immediately, the offender was permanently banned from the platform, the game was suspended, and Roblox engineers worked overtime through the weekend to tighten their platform to ensure this event would not happen again. Afterward, I revised my original post. Rather than calling for people to delete the app, I encouraged parents to double-check security settings on all their devices and make sure they are aware of what their children are playing."
Roblox’s vice president of marketing and community safety Tami Bhaumik blamed the incident on a user who had injected "bad code" into the game. The engineering team at Roblox then upgraded systems to remove the code and prevent it from returning.
Bhaumik told the Washington Post that they would not prevent characters from physically interacting with each other because it would be against the spirit of the game. They said, "We focus on making sure that everything is done in a safe and appropriate way. A lot of our players like to jump around together -- to jump and dance -- and that’s something that’s part of the experience."
On Reddit, there were numerous threads discussing the report on such subreddits as /r/KotakuInAction,  /r/news, /r/copypasta and more.
Several major media outlets covered the story, including The Washington Post, BBC, Fox News,  USA Today and more.
 Facebook – Amber Petersen's Post
 Facebook – Amber Petersen's Post
 Reddit – /r/KotakuInAction
 Reddit – /r/copypasta
 The Washington Post – Roblox, an online kids game, explains how a hack allowed a character’s virtual ‘rape’
 BBC – Roblox blames 'gang rape' on hacker adding code to game
 Fox News – North Carolina mom warns of popular 'Roblox' video game after 7-year-old's avatar 'violently gang raped'
 USA Today – Online kids game 'Roblox' shows female character being 'violently gang raped,' mom warns
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Jul 18, 2018 at 03:42PM EDT
Jul 18, 2018 at 03:06PM EDT
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