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Parents warned after reports of sexually suggestive chats sent to kids on Roblox gaming hub

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection reports that kids have received inappropriate messages on the popular gaming site.

Parents warned after reports of sexually suggestive chats sent to kids on Roblox gaming hub

Photo: iStockphotos

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is warning parents following reports of sexually suggestive messages being sent through the popular Roblox children’s gaming environment.

Roblox is a user-generated gaming environment where children are encouraged to create adventures using their avatar, play games and connect with friends in a multiplayer environment that claims to more than 44 million active users. The centre said Tuesday it has received reports about requests to meet in person and sexually suggestive chat messages being sent to children under the age of 12 within Roblox.

Children can easily be exposed to inappropriate conversations or redirected to inappropriate content on other sites through the chat feature, it said.

“The safety of our community is a top priority and we’re constantly assessing and improving our trust and safety measures,” Roblox said in an email.

Spokesman Brian Reinert said Roblox has instituted chat filtering software created specifically to find offensive language and flag it.

“All accounts for users that are under the age of 13 are set to only communicate with friends,” Reinert said.

And he said the company has a moderator network to “review every image, audio, and video file” that is uploaded to the Roblox site or into any of its games.

The centre suggests that before allowing children to start playing a particular game, parents should explore it themselves first and possibly turn off the chat component.

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Parents should teach children to check with them before using new apps or games or sharing any information online, and not to respond or click on messages or links from someone they don’t know, the centre said.

This article was originally published on Feb 22, 2017

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