A North Carolina mom is warning other parents after her 7-year-old daughter's online video game avatar was shown being "violently" sexually violated.
Amber Petersen uploaded disturbing screenshots of the "Roblox" game incident, showing two male characters raping the female simultaneously. Toward the end, another female character interferes and stops it, the mom said in a Facebook post.
According to the company website, Roblox is an "immersive, user-generated" game for "kids of all ages."
For the sake of parent readers and their kids, All the Moms is not showing the graphic images in this story. They can be found by clicking the Facebook post above.
Petersen said Roblox has privacy settings that are supposed to prevent outside invitations or conversations.
"There are also 24-hour moderators that are hired to block any potentially inappropriate content," she wrote. "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..."
The program says explicitly that it does "NOT assign ratings to the 'quality' or 'age-appropriateness' of the language, images, videos, or other content that you may see on a kidSAFE member product."
However, it includes in its list of requirements that members follow "basic safety rules," with one of the bullet points including "age-appropriate content":
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act "prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information from and about children on the Internet"
According to the kidSAFE's application to the FTC, its participants who break rules could face the following consequences:
- Increased membership fee
- "Require compensation or other redress to consumers"
- Membership termination without refund
- Temporary or permanent removal of the kidSAFE+ seal from violator's site
- "Require anonymous payments to the United State Treasury Department"
All the Moms has reached out to Roblox, kidSAFE and the FTC for comment. Neither Roblox nor kidSAFE immediately responded.
Amber Petersen told All the Moms she had a "very thoughtful conversation" with Roblox's head of marketing:
A member with the FTC who spoke to All the Moms said the FTC is not allowed to comment on whether there are or are not investigations occurring.
FTC-certified safe harbor organizations are required to submit a yearly report to the FTC on the status of its participants or members, and if there were any disciplinary actions taken.
It is unclear at the moment if any disciplinary action has been taken against Roblox or kidSAFE.
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