- Roblox players participate in virtual Pro-Palestine march, initiated by Malaysian players.
- Roblox used as a platform for expression, drawing significant attention.
- Controversy arises over reports of marches being removed for alleged hate speech and antisemitism.
- Roblox representative comments on removal allegations, denies confirming without specific game details.
- Debate over political content on Roblox ensues, with Roblox spokesperson clarifying community standards.
Roblox Players Rally in Virtual Pro-Palestine March
A fortnight ago, a multitude of Roblox gamers dived into a custom game that allowed them to participate in a march supporting Palestine. Initiated by Malaysian Roblox enthusiasts, the game was a reaction to the rising unrest in the Middle East.
On October 7, Hamas, an Islamic political and military group, reportedly attacked and claimed the lives of approximately 1,400 Israeli citizens. Following this, Israel is said to have dropped over 18,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip, a narrow piece of land that houses over 2 million Palestinians.
Roblox: A Platform for Expression
Roblox is a platform that allows users to create and share their own games, and this virtual march for Palestine drew significant attention. The event was shared widely on social media, with one individual even stating that their younger cousin attended the virtual rally as they were too young to drive to a physical one.
Users found the game, which featured Palestinian flags and a large square with the words “Solitary Untukmu” (Malay for “Solidarity for you”), to be a sign that the “kids are alright”.
Controversy and Censorship
However, controversy arose when a user claimed that all the marches were reported for hate speech and antisemitism, and subsequently removed. Another user affirmed this, saying that two games they had played featuring pro-Palestinian marches were also gone.
When reached for comment, a representative from Roblox stated that one of the referenced experiences was still live, though set to private mode by the game's creator. They could not confirm or deny the removal of other pro-Palestinian experiences without specific game details.
The Debate Over Political Content on Roblox
The user who claimed one pro-Palestinian game was removed received a warning from Roblox for saying “FREE PALESTINE”. The warning cited "political content" as the reason, and the “offensive item” was listed as “FREE PALESTINE FREE PALESTINE”.
This seemed to contradict Roblox's community standards, which state: “Roblox does not permit support for current political candidates, parties, associated flags or symbols.”
However, a Roblox spokesperson clarified over email, asserting that “the phrase ‘Free Palestine’ is compliant with Roblox’s Community Standards and is indeed allowed for use on our platform. It is considered an expression of solidarity as allowed by our Community Standards.”
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