Roblox

TINA.org investigated the online gaming and creation platform Roblox, which is used by more than 25 million children on a daily basis, and found, among other things, that the company allows advertising to be surreptitiously interlaced with organic content in a multitude of ways, and uses atypical earnings claims to lure game developers to its platform.


Highlights

  • Filed complaint with FTC
  • Filed FOIA Appeal with FTC
  • Filed complaint with ASA

Timeline

2022
November 1

Just days after boasting to media outlets that “users under the age of 13 will no longer be eligible to see ads” on the platform, Roblox quietly removes its longstanding written policy that “Ads may not contain content intended for users under the age of 13.” Here’s the before and after.

October 27

TINA.org sends a follow-up letter to the FTC (and provides a copy to Roblox, as well as certain companies who advertise on the platform) regarding inaccurate statements made by Roblox about the platform blocking children from accessing advertisements.

August 23

The Advertising Standards Authority declines TINA.org’s complaint because, though Roblox is used by consumers in the UK, it is based in the U.S. and thus outside the ASA’s purview as it “can only take action against advertisers that are based in the UK, or are using a UK platform to advertise their products/services.”

August 10

TINA.org sends complaint letter to the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK urging the agency to take action.

May 12

The FTC responds to TINA.org’s FOIA appeal indicating that it will provide all of the nearly 1,300 consumer complaints filed with the FTC regarding Roblox.

April 19

TINA.org sends complaint letter to FTC urging the agency to take action.

April 18

TINA.org files a FOIA appeal with the FTC regarding the agency’s provision of only 200 of nearly 1,300 consumer complaints filed with the FTC regarding Roblox.


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