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  • Lawrence Ng

Extremist Group Targets Teens Using Roblox Game In Singapore

Two Singaporean teens were issued Internal Security Act (ISA) orders for exhibiting extremist behaviour, and joining various Islamic State-themed servers on the online gaming platform Roblox.

Roblox - terrorist character
Roblox Gameplay

After being exposed to extremist propaganda on social media, YouTube and music streaming services, both teenagers joined various Islamic State-themed Roblox servers. The youngsters acted as terrorist organisation members in settings resembling Islamic State-themed battlegrounds such as Syria and Marawi, Philippines. They are tasked with shooting and killing "enemies" in the game.

Roblox Characters
Roblox Characters

Roblox is an online gaming platform and game production system that lets people create and play games. The game is free, but in-game purchases earn the company money. In 2022, Roblox has an average of 56 million daily active users, and they spent over 49.3 billion hours on it. Half of the users are below the age of 13. The fast-growing platform has often been criticised for its management of child exploitation, micro-transactions and moderation. Roblox's fast and unprecedented growth is part of the problem. Millions of users create a torrent of user-generated rooms too large for the company to manually screen. The game's distributed structure, which depends on people creating situations and spaces, makes it difficult to supervise. However, the company has strict guidelines in place and also provides avenues for users to report violations. The company also has a page devoted to assisting parents in monitoring their children.

  • Two Singaporean teens were issued ISA orders for exhibiting extremist behaviour and joining various Islamic State-themed servers on the online gaming platform Roblox.

  • Both teens joined Islamic State-themed Roblox servers after seeing terrorist propaganda on social media, YouTube, and music streaming sites. In a setting resembling IS battlegrounds, the kids played terrorists by shooting and killing "enemies" in the game.

  • Roblox is a game creation and play platform. In-game purchases generate the company's money. Roblox has 56 million daily active users in 2022, half of which are children under 13. Child exploitation, micro-transactions and the lack of moderation have been criticised on the fast-growing platform.

  • Roblox's explosive growth is a challenge. Millions of people produce too many rooms for the company to manually screen. The game's distributed structure makes supervision challenging. 

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