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Roblox Launches Digital Civility Initiative in Push for Safety

Popular game platform Roblox launched its Digital Civility Initiative on Tuesday.

The initiative will be led by new hire Laura Higgins, who joined Roblox as its director of Digital Civility. Higgins has more than two decades of experience “managing and promoting social care and support services, as well as creating online safety and digital civility programs,” according to the press release.

The Digital Civility Initiative will mean the creation of new programs meant to help young users have positive experiences by creating a safe environment and providing educational resources for players. As such, Roblox also intends to extend its network with educational partners.

David Baszucki, CEO and co-founder of Roblox, commented on the importance of Higgins’ new role.

“Roblox’s mission is to bring the world together through play,” said Baszucki. “As a training ground for life, we are fostering the new behaviors and skills that digital citizens need in this rapidly changing world. I’m pleased Laura will be joining us to help guide our efforts in this important area.”

CREDIT: Roblox

While still a popular platform, Roblox sparked concern last year when a young girl found a disturbing depiction of rape in one of the community-created games using the Roblox service.

Variety reached out to Roblox again regarding this story, asking how the launch of the Digital Civility Initiative will address issues like this one.

Tami Bhaumik, VP of Marketing and Digital Civility at Roblox, explained that the issue last year was one of safety and not digital civility.

“It’s important to understand the difference between safety and digital civility,” Bhaumik stated. “To us, safety is the number one priority and we’ve taken quick action over the last year to tighten the security of our platform, for developers and players alike. Safety is an important and constant focus, but we’re not stopping there.
As a global platform where over 80 million kids and teens come together through play each month, there’s a big opportunity to help foster the skills kids need to create positive experiences for themselves online, not just on our platform, but others. Every day we see the camaraderie and empathy that a platform of user generated content– largely created by young developers–inspires among the community. We see it as our unique opportunity to empower and educate kids with the digital savvy that they need to thrive, and are thrilled to have Laura on the team to help realize this vision.”

Despite the controversy of that story, Roblox didn’t seem to suffer too much. The company finished out its Q3 last year with impressive growth, with revenue up 87% year-over-year.

Higgins also acknowledged the safety concerns in the Roblox community in the press release.

“Because Roblox is rapidly growing into one of the most popular places for kids and teens to hang out and play online, we have a duty to make sure that when they use our platform they
can explore their creativity freely and safely,” Higgins stated. “We have an opportunity to engage with young people in a unique way, and I hope that by listening to them and giving them a voice, we can help shape their positive behaviors both online and offline. I am beyond delighted to be joining this world-class team of innovators, and I look forward to working with external partners around the world.”

Further, Higgins will develop resources for users (and their parents or other caregivers) in order to promote Roblox’s community safety standards.

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