With the mass popularity of Roblox and its rapidly growing player base, it makes sense that the platform leans on consistently adapting its Terms of Service in order to prepare for, and reflect, the passing trends within internet pop culture. However, on Oct. 5, 2021, Roblox released an update to their Community Standards that has left players feeling in the dark—frustrated and confused as to what the platform wants, and doesn't want, from its users. No official statement has been posted by Roblox at the time of this article's publication, so until then we've quickly broken down the most important take-aways that you should know.
Update: Roblox did not made a public statement on any of their socials, however the Community Standards were updated on the evening of Oct. 6, 2021 to accommodate some of the concerns that players were voicing. The updates that occurred can be found below in the corresponding section!
This section of Roblox's TOS didn't seem to change much and doesn't have many people upset. Extreme scenes of violence have always been prohibited on the platform and even some of the more bloody or violent games that exist on Roblox won't have to worry about being banned. Users on Twitter are worried about Roblox classics such as Piggy, Broken Bones, or Arsenal being removed from the platform, but after thoroughly reading through the safety changes, it doesn't seem like they are violent enough to have these bans apply.
Roblox has always prioritized the takedown of bullies on their platform, so the addition of even stricter banning measures in that sense isn't surprising. After the rise of scented cons and suggestive Roblox games over this past summer, it's also no shock that Roblox is hitting hard on prohibiting anything similar from existing on the platform going forward. With a majority of the site's player base being kids under 13, and teenagers in general, the risk of having anything too adult on Roblox isn't something they're willing to risk.
Civility and Respect
Roblox's disinterest in keeping even a sliver of negative connotation on their platform carries into this section as they continue to slam their foot down on hate speech, discriminatory acts of any kind, profanity, dating and romantic content, blackmail, and political content. The only part of this section that has players upset is the Depictions of Real-World Tragedy subtext, which promises to remove any experience from the platform that depicts or references real-world tragic events; mocks the victims of such events; supports, glorifies, or promotes the perpetrators; or capitalizes on these events for commercial purposes. Given this description, the worry exists that the beloved Natural Disaster Survival will fall victim to these changes, along with the massively impressive Titanic experience.
Because Natural Disaster Survival is very general in terms of the names of disasters that players must endure, it should fly under Roblox's radar. The Titanic experience however, and anything similar, will more than likely be removed if the qualifications remain the same.
Update: Users believe that the concern around the removal of the Titanic game has been resolved. Roblox has changed the description from "depicts or references real-world tragic" events to "recreates specific real-world tragic events".
Fairness and Transparency
This section of the Community Standards is the one that has received the most backlash, and is still receiving an overwhelming amount of backlash currently. The beginning fairs well: Roblox is going to be cracking down on spam messages, excessive ads in games, cheating, clickbait, hackers—regular activities that developers want to remove from their platforms. The heat comes in however when Roblox mentions its ban on giveaways of all kinds, present and future.
Many Roblox YouTubers and Twitter influencers who profit off of Roblox-related content enjoy giving back to their fans by hosting giveaways, contests, etc. where anyone who participates has a chance to earn free Robux, a Roblox gift card, or even limited edition items. With the addition of Roblox's new Terms of Service, these acts are prohibited and will lead to the host being insta-banned for an unknown period of time. Users can also no longer sell Roblox items that they wish to get rid of for Robux on the platform.
As it's been interpreted by popular content creator KreekCraft, players will also need to steer clear from dressing similar to any of their favorite YouTubers, celebrities, or influencers in Roblox as the ToS states that anyone who misrepresents or attempts to impersonate another user by using their name, username, position in a company, or digital representation will be banned. Along with this, Roblox is now heavily watching all intellectual property violations, especially including the usage of any brand's name, logo, or designs.
For users who enjoy dressing their avatar in designer clothes or brand name outfits similar to what they'd wear in the real world, this could become a massive issue.
Update: Roblox has added a blurb to the bottom of this section that excludes satire, fan art, or tributes that are not misleading to other users from their ban on misrepresentation and impersonation. Meaning you are all good to dress like your favorite entertainers! It's also being interpreted that giveaways and contests can resume as normal.
Security and Privacy
While everyone wants their internet activity safe and secure, many feel as though they're at greater risk by not masking their digital location—hence the recent boom in VPN companies and users. VPNs allow those who use them to adjust the output of their internet signal to be anywhere in the world, meaning that you could be playing Roblox in the comfort of your own home, but with a VPN your computer would think and act as if you're in playing from a city across the country, or even across the world. With Roblox's update, however, the usage of any form of VPN is completely prohibited and an extremely ban-able offence.
This update has not been received well by the community, as many players have adopted the usage of a VPN into their daily lives and feel as though this action may be just the breech of privacy that Roblox is trying to avoid.
Possibly the biggest uproar from this entire situation comes from the Roblox Economy section of the ToS, which can be summarized to state that users can no longer exchange any form of service for Robux on, or outside of, the platform. The Roblox community thrives on its creative encouragement of artist expression and involvement, so players across Twitter are deeply saddened, confused, and angry with this news. Commissions are an extremely popular way for artists to promote their work and get paid while also being able to positively interact with others online, so by removing this ability players feel as though Roblox is destroying a massive part of what makes the Roblox community, a community.
Update: VPNs have been re-allowed on the Roblox platform so long as players are not using them to gain unauthorized access to another player's account, a specific feature, or Roblox in general. Art commissions can also resume as normal.
That's about all we know at the moment in terms of the major changes within Roblox's Terms of Service. As of Oct. 6, 2021 players within the community are happy to hear that Roblox listened to their feedback on the original update. What are your thoughts now? Do you think these changes are fair, why or why not? Let us know below!