Moderation should communicate more meaningfully and take dates into account


#1

Edit: Click here to view my post on this thread about the PewDiePie situation. Don’t forget to give this main post a like.


The Problem

As a Roblox developer, it is impossible to even use this platform without fear of moderation from something that was completely acceptable years ago.


My Experience

My account was recently disabled, apparently due to having an image of the Vaktovian logo in a t-shirt that I uploaded many years ago. It has been such a long time that I have dissociated myself with VAK to the point that I wasn’t even aware that their logo is now against the rules. I haven’t thought about the group in so long, and I’ve completely forgotten about the t-shirt.

So imagine my complete and utter shock when I log in to see this waiting for me:

If you’re confused about the whole “I love Scriptos,” title, I renamed the t-shirt to this after Vaktus bought it because I thought it would be funny to see an item in his inventory saying “I Love Scriptos.” The ban apparently had nothing to do with the title itself.


Explanation

I got a strike for hate speech and harassment, and my account was temporarily disabled. I now have to worry about whether or not there is a record for hate speech stuck on my account, and whether I’m even allowed to use DevEx anymore, if I ever intend to do so.

I feel it necessary to repeat; hate speech and harassment. For an image that was once allowed. Now, I don’t intend to sound rude, but, really, you can’t ban or disable accounts for doing something that was completely acceptable in years past.

Not only is this very annoying for us developers to deal with, I feel that it also makes it very confusing for younger users to understand what hate speech and harassment truly is. Hate speech and harassment are very serious offenses. I am not okay with being associated with hate speech AND harassment purely for uploading an asset that was perfectly acceptable years ago. It makes me feel incredibly uneasy, and I am very afraid to upload assets now.


Example as to why this is frightening

Imagine that in 2010, I name myself Scriptos.

In 2025, “scriptos” becomes a word associated with racism. I quickly change my username to something else.

In 2025, Roblox bans me due to having multiple assets with my old username somewhere in the images. The reason for the ban? “Racism”

This is essentially what has happened to me. In order to use this platform safely, I am seemingly expected to be clairvoyant.


Attempt to Appeal

It’s important to mention here that I was taking a little bit of a break, so I was entirely unaware that I have been banned until about half a month later, and by that point I was already able to reactivate my account immediately after signing in.

However, it is my understanding that bans will stick to your account and moderators will forever be able to view your moderation history. I am now terrified that an admin in the future will check my account and see that I am associated with hate speech and harassment.

I tried to get help on the #moderation-review-requests topic, and got this reply:

I have contacted Roblox support, and they were unfortunately very unhelpful.

This was the reply that I got:

All of this, I remind you, for uploading an image that was allowed many years ago.


Suggestions for Improvement

These suggestions were made by @marcus760, on this very thread. Please give his post some love, as he was much better at explaining his experience with the current moderation system than I was. I wholeheartedly agree with every point that he made.

That being said, don’t forget to like this post as well, in order to capture the attention of people that can actually do something about this.

Alternatives

Suggestions


Conclusion

If Roblox is able to address my issue, it would improve my development experience drastically because I would no longer be utterly terrified to upload new content out of fear of being banned in the distant future.


#2

1000% support. I’ve complained about this for a long time. Don’t even know how many times I’ve had this happen. It’s pure awful to log on and be banned and you can’t even tell what for because it’s so old.


#3

To Add, here are my Mod Reviews about these kind of things.
https://devforum.roblox.com/t/oh-boy-here-we-go/162514
https://devforum.roblox.com/t/helghast-on-roblox/127803


#4

I can understand the helghast situation, but the most frustrating thing about that second link is that the roblox staff replied and immediately closed the thread as if the problem was solved. They keep closing threads immediately after replying as if they solved everything, without even giving you a chance to reply back.

This should have been sent to appeals, but yes the Helghast emblem is not allowed on Roblox due to the relationship to the Nazis.

And then the thread gets closed as if the problem was solved.

Like, really. The problem isn’t that the Helghast emblem isn’t allowed. The problem is that these images were uploaded YEARS ago, when it wasn’t a problem, and we’re getting banned for them now. Not only that, but we can’t even tell what we’re being banned for. The whole thing is ridiculous.


#5

P much sums it up. What I usually do after a staff member closes it, if I still have questions is DM them. Sometimes they’ll reply back. Usually they say go to appeals, but it really makes no sense to go to appeals when appeals does nothing. Appeals take too long most of the time anyways, and all that happens is the developer gets screwed out of working over something years ago.


#6

Appeal threads for account moderation in the #moderation-review-requests category are closed immediately because the people who monitor that category cannot do anything. Replying is useless because no matter what you say, they still can’t do anything. Do note that they provide you the correct channel to go through when your thread is closed.


Assets older than a few years should not be capable of causing you moderation action. The platform is old enough now that people from 2013, or even way back in 2007 have grown into completely different people. Moderating people for mistakes made 5-10 years in the past is absurd and does literally nothing to deter creating assets like that again. The only thing it does is make people furious and wastes their time.


#7

Update: It is confirmed that this moderation is stuck on my account now, and all admins in the future will now see that I am associated with hate speech and harassment, all because I uploaded an image relating to a group that I was in many years ago. How is this okay?

I was redirected to email support in order to get help with this, but it is still proving to be very unhelpful, and this is what needs to change.

If there is no way to remove faulty moderation actions, then one really needs to be added. Players should not be associated with hate speech for uploading content that was allowed when they were 13 years old and are now in their 20’s.


#8

If you asked them to remove the history from your account for DevEx reasons, they are correct in saying they cannot do that. If your actual concern is “will this affect my ability to DevEx?”, most likely it will not, as they take into account things such as this and will look at your entire moderation history.


#9

That’s reassuring, but I still would prefer to not have this sticking to my account when it is no fault of mine. That’s why this is on the platform feedback topic - my feedback is that they should take action to prevent users from having an ugly moderation history that is purely their [Roblox’s] fault, due to not accounting for time.

Even if it does not affect DevEx, it does not sit well with me that I have a history of hate speech now. Hate speech is very serious, as is harassment. And I guarantee that I am not the only one that feels this way. Therefore, it seriously needs to change. Badly.

There are people out there that have very high levels of anxiety and stress. I personally experience a good amount of anxiety. Knowing that moderators out there in the future will look at me, or other innocent users, and see that they’re associated with hate speech, of all things, for uploading a perfectly acceptable image years ago, that just does not sit well with me. It makes me incredibly nervous, and I am now afraid to upload things.


#10

Would be really cool if the moderation screen at least showed the asset that was being moderated and when it was created. At the moment it’s ostensibly supposed to show the asset but in reality it just shows the generic deleted icon which is incredibly unhelpful.


#11

I am currently going through a similar situation. I have been playing Roblox for almost 11 years now, and I am a completely different person now than I was 6 or 7 years ago. I can confidently say that I behave completely different on this platform than my former 14 year old self, especially since I’ve been accepted on the developer forums. I feel completely paranoid every time I log onto this website, because any guy with a vendetta against me can report an old asset in my inventory which can result in a 3 day ban for hate speech. I can confirm that I haven’t done anything serious to break the Roblox community guidelines, however I still have bans on my account due to content that was completely acceptable years prior to my ban.

This is what I wake up to on my birthday:

Based off this screenshot, it is literally impossible to tell where I exactly violated the Terms of Service except for the shirt I uploaded, but I know exactly what this shirt was, and I managed to find it in my old videos on my old YouTube channel.

This is the shirt I have been banned for, a hockey jersey with the number 9 on it and the words “New Bloxton” on the front, which is the name for a fictional city I created on Roblox. The tattoo’s have no symbols or writing on them, for it is just a simple tribal sleeve, here is shirt I copied the tattoo’s from.
1e10a1ab27306a40928e7de7afd72bf9

I’d like to point out I was 15 when I made this, and I wasn’t the best artist, so I used a lot of templates at the time instead of creating it myself. Also anything on the shoulder, or left arm was not on the shirt I uploaded. Just the right arm tattoo’s and the upper half was covered by the sleeve of the shirt.

With this information in mind, there is a very thin line between content that’s no longer acceptable. We are no longer notified if an asset is no longer acceptable on the platform. Instead the only notice we receive are bans, which almost 100% of the time is a hate speech ban. Now, according to the official Roblox Community Guidelines, what classifies hate speech is the following:

As far as my eyes concern, I see nothing on my shirt that offends a race, religion, disability, gender, age, or veteran status. It is a simple sports jersey based off a fictional city. I took my time to ask the moderators on this website, why was this moderated for hate speech, and this was the reply I’ve gotten:


Now if you scroll up to the previous screenshot of my 3 day ban page, you would see I titled the shirt “GS9 shirt 1”. However, even if this is gang related, I still recieved a ban for hate speech, which has nothing to do with gangs according to the Roblox Community Guidelines. Now that we are on the topic of gang affiliation, I’d like to point out that I’ve grown up around people like this, and I can confirm that modern day gangs no longer sport the typical red and blue outfits.This was a movement referred as “color banging” which died over 15 years ago. With that being said, the shirt has no color affiliation, nor does it have any gang affiliation. It is a typical Jersey, and had I titled it something like “Hockey Team” or “New Bloxton Hockey Gear”, it would have never gave me a 3 day ban. I feel as if moderators gave me no chance, and didn’t even take into consideration the date I uploaded this shirt, and the content that’s actually on the shirt. This shirt was uploaded 2015, and was approved because of its visual content, but 4 years later it was moderated because of the name given to the shirt.

Things like this happen too often to players on this website, and it is unfortunate, however I believe with the right staff taking this into consideration we could change things. Again, there is a very thin-line to what is acceptable and what is no-longer acceptable on this platform, and we aren’t informed of anything at all, nor do we have the feature to remove our own items before Roblox can take actions into their own hands. In cases like these, I feel as the punishment players receive is extremely severe. There are many alternatives and different ways the staff could’ve handled this situation, to where both parties are happy at the end of the day.

  1. Roblox staff could’ve simply [content deleted] the name, and warned my account that names like this are inappropriate and not acceptable on this platform.

  2. Roblox staff could’ve deleted the shirt all together, and warned me about the name.

  3. Roblox staff could have personally sent me a message on the developer forums or emailed me about this issue, and I could simply change the name myself.

Another issue I would like to discuss is misrepresentations of my bans, as far as I am concerned is in the Community Guidelines, Roblox says nothing about gang affiliation in the hate speech category, however when I ask moderators why I have been flagged for such violation this is the response I receive:

Little to any information was given to how exactly I broke these rules, in a nutshell, when I asked how I violated the rules I was told: “You broke them and hate speech is bad so you will still be banned”.

I feel like the appeals team could do a much better job in this aspect, I feel as if they rarely check situations accordingly, and unless they are forwarded the complaint from someone on the developer relations team, they will not bat an eye to your complaint and will continue to give you bare-bone answers, and just repeat the same exact thing said when you log in your account:
proof2

It is very unfortunate when a veteran player for over 10 years and a loyal fan to Roblox has to experience such poor customer support. I am not trying to pick a fight with any of the moderation staff, but I am trying to gain justice for myself, and anyone else going through this situation by sharing my experience.

What I feel that needs to be drastically improved on this platform is the following:

  1. Moderators actually look into things before they throw out bans.

  2. When a complaint is given, its given for a reason, please second check before you instantly dismiss it. If I thought I deserved the ban, I wouldn’t waste my time or the moderators time by writing a complaint on the forums.

  3. Please give us accurate reasons to why we received a ban. I am sure both me and @Scriptos scenarios have nothing at all to do with Hate speech, in my case it was gang-affiliation, however the community guidelines has no information that connects hate speech to gang affiliations. I’d be much more accepting of my ban had they said: Moderator Note: This content is not appropriate. Gang violence or gang affiliation is not allowed on Roblox.

  4. Please give us better answers other than “you did bad, now you get banned”. Again, anyone that tries to write a complaint about this receives a 2 sentence reply by the NestofDragons. Now I know its very difficult to sit at a computer and handle complaints all day, I get complaints about exploiters every day in my game, so I don’t blame you. However, could you guys hire more people to work on this part of Roblox, hell, you really don’t have to hire anybody to be honest. I’m sure many of the community members would do this for free, I’d be happy to moderate things just because I am making the community a better place. (Not saying I’m fit for moderation but you get my point.)

I really hope someone of importance see’s my little scenario, and takes what I said into consideration. If this sounds like a rant or me being angry, I’d like to clear things that I am not trying to rant or bash any of the staff members, I am just trying to convey my message enough to where they actually take notice instead of just blinking and looking at the next complaint.

Thank you for reading, and have a blessed day.


#12

Well said, you’ve explained the situation a lot better than I was able to.


#13

Expect this type of reply if you ever contact the moderation appeals team with facts.

And if you are wondering what the “previous information sent to you” was, it was this:

Which is the same exact information I got when I tried to login my account:

Again, more evidence that the moderation team needs to communicate more effectively, actually take things into consideration that they are damaging the community more than protecting it. It is just very frustrating that I, and anyone else has to experience this, and when told to make an appeal, they are greeted with terrible customer service.

I’d like to reiterate that this staff needs to actually look into the cases they are assigned. It is literally their job, and if it takes over 30 hours for one response, I expect my situation to be somewhat looked into instead of a dismissive repetition saying that I am banned for whatever I violated. I am extremely disappointed that a corporation and franchise of this prestige has this level quality of customer support. It makes me, as a player and a developer, feel very unwelcomed to this website. I’d like to point out that I dedicated many hours, hell I’ve been playing for almost 11 years, and to seem like the staff doesn’t even appreciate me, or even cares about what I have to say just really upsets me. I feel like I am just another person, my voice doesn’t matter, and no matter how much revenue I brought Roblox through my games (even though it wasn’t a lot), I still contributed in some way and I still brought smiles to many young players on this platform.

This is more than just a problem, this needs a serious reformation, and staff that work in this department need to be seriously re-evaluated or monitored closely. I recommend an overseer, that keeps track of all the emails that are being sent and all the conversations the appeals team take part in, to truly see what a mess this is. Again, this is constructive criticism, you can’t improve unless somebody is telling you you’re not good enough.

–Final Edit–
At this point in Roblox, I can estimate that almost all developers upload assets on an alternate account, because who knows what type of ridiculous penalty you may receive for something very innocent. Don’t believe me? Check the Moderation Review Request section on the forums.


#14

Hi again, your nicely detailed post inspired me to completely edit the layout of my post. I also included quotes from you for suggestions at the bottom, since you worded it much better. Hope you don’t mind.


#15

Of course I don’t, I’m just glad I am not the only one going through this, I noticed if you looked through the Moderation Review Request, at least 30% of those request are “hate speech” bans for assets uploaded years ago. Hopefully our message is enough to actually make a difference and get a serious reform, because this is desperately needed.


#16

The problem with moderators is everything they say feels like a copy and paste. There is little to no human input in the words they give you. This is why I’ve always use Mod Review Request when I get flagged out for small text because I strive to know specifics. That being said, I’ve been asked in a DM on the DevForum that I instead start using appeals.

I.E. You keep posting the same mod review issue. We don’t wanna handle it anymore.

The problem I seek is that racecar decals have no text I consider small, but no one at the company ever wants to look an image for me and pinpoint how small too small is. So how the heck am I supposed to learn where the threshold is on an arbitrary rule like “small text?”


#17

I fully support this thread. I remember being in Roblox HQ the day they announced the new moderation feature and nearly every single person I knew in that room (who had a great understanding of the community) had a furious look on their face including myself. Yes, safety is important but it shouldn’t go as far as banning users for something as simple as uploading an image or word from years back you don’t even remember. I frankly too am frightened to see where the community is heading. To an extreme extent, Roblox’s attempt to keep the community safe could be the very things that destroys it. I do feel an overhaul of this system is needed if they plan to expand into 2020 where open communication and basic understanding of where to draw the line with moderation is.


#18

I will say, this current culture of taking something that isn’t that bad and turning it into something awful is what will kill us all. Look at Pepe the Frog. Pepe wasn’t bad. Then a few bad people used it bad, and it spread, and now Pepe in all contexts is considered “bad.”

Safety should be a large priority, especially after all the bad media cases we’ve had tarnishing us. That being said, there should be limits as to how far that safety shield goes.


#19

I agree. I did some Nintendo models in past before the DMCA thingy became a reality.

I got 2 warnings already for it and it makex me anxious.
What if I lose my acc because of PAST?

Not to mention I don’t know WHAT is moderated.


#20

On the topic of communicating more meaningfully, I feel like this is relevant. Although the situation was solved for this specific user (PewDiePie), the explanation for the ban seemed to only be found on this dev forum post stating that the name was blocked due to “pewdie” becoming a negative meme.

This type of information would be useful to have in the above image, rather than simply stating “your username is inappropriate for Roblox.” An improvement in moderation communication would prevent miscommunication such as what happened with PewDiePie’s fans spreading malice towards Roblox due to not understanding the nature of the ban.

Edit: Also, if the name was banned due to becoming a negative meme, then either prevent accounts from being able to use newly censored words in the first place. Don’t just terminate accounts because something has become censored AFTER account creation. Give those accounts a free rename along with an explanation or something.