Nov 24, 2021 - Technology

Roblox sues YouTuber over “terrorist threats”

Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Roblox Corporation is suing a YouTuber for breach of contract and fraud.

Details: Social gaming platform Roblox is seeking $1,650,000 in damages against content creator Benjamin Robert Simon ("Ruben Sim"), alleging that he is the leader of a "cybermob" and "commits and encourages unlawful acts designed to injure Roblox and its users."

  • Grievances against Simon also include allegations of posting "false and misleading terrorist threats" in order to keep Roblox users from participating in events; this includes a threat that temporarily shut down the 2021 Roblox Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this year, per the suit.
  • Simon — who the company says has a "long history of fixating on and then harassing people" — has been permanently banned from the platform, but continues to "circumvent" those restrictions.
  • Reasons for his ban include terms of service violations ranging from the use of slurs to "attempting to upload a sex game," inappropriate photos of himself and photos of Adolf Hitler, the company said.

Why it matters: The platform is massively popular among millions of kids; it's also a place where 1.3 million people make monetized content.

  • As of August, it had more than 48 million active daily users.

The big picture: Platforms are fighting back against users who turn their services into vehicles for hate and harassment.

  • In September, Twitch sued two users after accusing them of targeting marginalized streamers as part of "hate raids," which are coordinated attack campaigns.
  • How content creators use platforms is still subject to the judgment of those platforms themselves, especially in the case of abuse.
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