Kids gaming platform Roblox faces content hurdles ahead of public listing

Tech

SAN FRANCISCO (NewsNation Now) — The gaming company Roblox filed for a multibillion-dollar stock market debut Thursday. This announcement comes amid growing concerns of inappropriate content on the platform.

Profanities and other offensive content that basic word-filtering tools are designed to catch can be found in some game titles and user profiles on children’s gaming platform Roblox, searches of the website show, despite the company’s “no tolerance” policy and assurances it has safeguards to enforce it.

Powered by user-created games, Roblox filed late Thursday for a multibillion-dollar stock market debut, riding the lockdown entertainment boom with its appeal as a place for safe fun and interactions for the youngest gamers.

But parenting groups and investors alike said they were concerned about whether the company’s automated systems to moderate content can effectively delete potentially offensive language and images that pop up on the platform.

In response to written questions, company spokeswoman Teresa Brewer said in a statement that Roblox “has no tolerance for inappropriate content, which is why we have a stringent safety system, including proprietary text filtering technology, third-party machine learning solutions, and customized rules on what to block, which we update daily.”

Last month, Roblox removed the examples within hours of Reuters sharing them with the company. Roblox has said it has 1,600 people working full time to eliminate inappropriate content on the platform.

Reuters contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2020 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved.