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Keeping children safe online, Roblox and Yubo to join Australian efforts

A Senate inquiry is examining the adequacy of existing cyberbullying offences. (AAP)

6 in 10 young people play multiplayer games online in Australia. Roblox and Yubo are joining the eSafety Commissioner’s Tier 1 social media scheme to protect children from cyberbullying.

To resolve serious cyberbullying targeting Australian children, Roblox and Yubo are joining the eSafety Commissioner’s Tier 1 social media scheme. According to a media release issued on yesterday from Office of the eSafety Commissioner, these two are going to work with them to keep children safe online.

Roblox is a gaming and social network platform and Yubo is a social networking video app which is formally known as ‘Yellow’. Yubo has over 15 million users globally that allows teenagers to create communities of friends.

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant says,

“The new partnerships signify Roblox and Yubo’s willingness to work with the Australian Government in keeping kids safe online, but also demonstrates their commitment to continue investing and innovating in the safety of their platforms for the benefit of their users.”.

Research released  on yesterday, 8 March by the eSafety Commissioner shows 6 in 10 young people play multiplayer games. Of these, 17 per cent, or approximately 200,000 young Australians, experienced in-game bullying in a 12 month period.

“We welcome Roblox as the first multiplayer, online gaming platform to join our scheme. Given the high volume of global engagement, and the extent to which cyberbullying, and other safety issues, are affecting young people on gaming platforms, Roblox is setting the standard for others to follow.”

“Roblox’s efforts to continue evolving its safety standards by introducing innovative new features and protocols have been impressive,” says Inman Grant.

“I applaud Yubo for extensively reworking its safety features to make its platform safer for teens. Altering its age restrictions, improving its real identity policy, setting clear policies around inappropriate content and cyberbullying, and giving users the ability to turn location data off demonstrates that Yubo is taking user safety seriously” says Ms Inman Grant.

If an Australian child under the age of 18 is cyberbullied on either Roblox or Yubo, the eSafety Commissioner now has escalation paths to get the perpetrators or content removed, if the services fail to act within 48 hours.

“We are proactively encouraging gaming and social networking platforms to join our cyberbullying scheme, particularly those with a large youth user base,” says Inman Grant.