I love Roblox. It has grown into something truly incredible over the past couple of years. But there is still one big issue that continues to plague the platform: its horribly broken moderation system. Whether it’s randomly declined assets or false bans/terminations, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to fix the moderation system.
But it seems like Roblox/the mod team are unwilling to acknowledge just how broken it really is. Whenever people raise concerns about moderation, they are completely brushed off. There was a huge uproar after the false terminations for plugins a few months ago, but not even that resulted in any significant change. We got a band-aid fix for a symptom of the problem (terminated users losing ownership of their groups) but no fixes for the problem itself, which is the fact that developers can get randomly banned/terminated in the first place.
I fully understand that moderation is a tough job that requires a lot of reports to be dealt with at a very rapid pace, but the high rate of moderation mishaps occurring now is simply inexcusable. Something needs to change.
To show how bad the problem has gotten, here are some recent examples of devforumers/high profile users getting banned or outright terminated through no fault of their own.
Example 1: Myself
About 2 months ago, right before I was about to start my internship at Roblox, a mod randomly gave me a 14 day ban for a completely nonsense reason:
There’s really no way of explaining this… How can a mod just randomly ban a top developer for no reason and with no explanation provided? And if I can get a random ban like this, who knows how many regular old Roblox users are getting the banhammer for absolutely no reason and are unable to have their voices heard?
I was very lucky to have Carlos as a line of contact in this situation - if I wasn’t a known developer, I probably would’ve been stuck with this ban or possibly even terminated. I have very little faith in appeals after seeing them completely ignore a friend of mine who was falsely banned - it seems like if the original mod is confident about your ban (no matter how incorrect it is), appeals won’t bother to review it any further, even if there’s no evidence.
Example 2: r0cu
r0cu, the user who famously won the Dominus prize in the Ready Player One event, has been targeted by many scammers who want to steal his account.
The scammers were sending false receipts to CS to try and prove ownership of the account. But rather than simply shutting down the scammers’ requests… They banned r0cu himself! He got banned because other people were trying to take his account! This makes absolutely no sense - why would you ban someone for what other people are trying to do to him?
There were additional checks added to his account after the incident, but this shouldn’t be possible to do to any account! The process itself needs fixing, not just 1 account.
Example 3: Inyo22
Inyo22 received a 1 day ban right before he needed to release an important game update, and it’s all because some mod made up an inappropriate meaning for some simple text that was meant to label a ship deck.
Established developers should not be banned just because a mod misinterpreted a completely innocent decal as something inappropriate.
If the mod is really that concerned that the text might have an inappropriate meaning, then this should be no more than a simple image rejection. A ban only makes sense if it’s very obvious the user is intentionally trying to sneak inappropriate content onto the website. A user should not be banned just because the mod feels the need to be overly cautious.
Example 4: Mass Bans due to Audio Refund Glitch
As I’m sure you’ve heard about by now, a huge number of people have just been automatically banned or terminated because of a glitch that is 100% Roblox’s fault. Some people were unknowingly receiving double refunds when their audio uploads were declined - and instead of just fixing the bug and removing the extra Robux from people’s accounts, Roblox instantly terminated a bunch of people without warning.
Pretty much every person I’ve seen had no intention of exploiting the refund system - they were just trying to upload a few audio files like normal. Why on earth would you assume that because someone accidentally got one or two double refunds, they were trying to exploit the system to get Robux? How do you expect them to know beforehand that there’s a glitch in the system? That’s outrageous. If someone were trying to exploit the system, they’d keep uploading the same audio dozens of times.
Even more infuriating is the response that people got from appeals, saying that the terminations were correct and that the punishments would not be reversed. I don’t have any words for this. The handling of this situation is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen on Roblox.
The bottom line is, Roblox desperately needs to put in the effort to fix their moderation system. This cannot be swept under the rug any longer. The quality of the moderation on this website is simply unacceptable, and it needs major improvements if Roblox wants to be taken seriously on the big stage. I’m concerned that it’s only going to keep getting worse unless something is finally done about it.
Here are some things I’d like to see from moderation:
- Additional safety checks before banning any developer/high profile user. (These people should generally receive warnings first, you don’t need to resort to banning them if it’s something they can easily correct)
- More reasonable, consistent punishments - don’t instantly ban people for minor mistakes or misinterpretations.
- A reputation system so that more trusted users are less likely to have innocent assets declined.
- With such a high risk of false bans, the appeals process needs to be improved.
- Never, ever ban anyone for something that’s not their fault.
- Stop issuing automatic/mass bans (like the plugin bans and the audio bans), they have completely backfired every time.
- Greater communication and transparency from the moderation team, so we know our concerns are being taken into account. Some simple communication will ease the tension between mods and users.
This isn’t meant to be hating on moderation by any means. We’re critical of the system because we’re passionate about Roblox and want to see it improve and continue growing. And it’s awful to see so many honest people being negatively impacted by the poor moderation system. Obviously community safety is very important, but right now it’s coming at the serious cost of innocent developers and players being punished for no reason.
There’s a long road ahead, but I believe Roblox can steer its moderation into the right direction - it just needs to start with time, effort, and communication.
Thank you for your time.