Roblox has increased security efforts by hiring online safety expert Laura Higgins.
Safety has been an increasing concern for the wildly-popular online game after incidents like last summer’s in-game sexual assault of a young child by users who broke through a number of protections.
Higgins, who has been working as a consultant with Roblox for 18 months, will become the studio’s first director of digital civility. She will create programs to model and encourage positive behaviour, as she has done for 20 years for various firms across the UK.
“Safety is a huge commitment for us as a company,” said vice president of marketing Tami Bhaumik in an interview with Venture Beat. “In the last couple of years, we tightened it up. We have a tremendous opportunity to lean forward and really start focusing on teaching our community and players and parents on how to treat each other better.”
Higgins herself added: “I’m really excited to be here, as I have been working with Roblox as a safety partner for some time. The goal is to make the experience of users more meaningful and positive. Give them life skills they can take away.”
With an overwhelmingly young audience, security is of extra concern. Roblox has an array of filters in place to prevent malicious behaviour. Higgins’ role ties into the company’s push towards softer goals - encouraging civil behaviour and co-operative place through positive reinforcement and education.
“We will help them become good citizens online,” said Higgins. “We will work with parents and caregivers, who are key, by helping them to learn how to talk to their children.”