Gaming company Roblox enabled sexual exploitation of girls, lawsuit claims

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A lawsuit filed in San Francisco accuses an online gambling company Roblox Corp. to allow the sexual and financial exploitation of a California girl by adult men.

The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also targets online chat company Discord Inc, parent of Snapchat. Snap inc. and instagram relative Meta Platforms Inc. Snap and Meta already face dozens of similar lawsuits.

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Meta declined to comment. Roblox and Snap could not be reached immediately.

A Discord spokesperson said the company has a “zero tolerance policy for anyone who endangers or sexualizes children,” but declined to comment directly on the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, which was seen by Reuters, the daughter, SU, was born in 2009 and started using Roblox when she was nine or 10 years old. Roblox is popular with kids under 13, but has adult users as well.

Beginning in early 2020, SU came into contact with adult men through Roblox, which encouraged her to sign up for Discord, Snapchat and Instagram to communicate with them, according to the lawsuit. Neither company required parental consent, and Discord did not verify SU’s age even though it said it did not allow users under 13, according to the lawsuit.

The men exploited her by encouraging her to drink and abuse prescription drugs and send sexually explicit photos of herself, the lawsuit alleges. A man allegedly persuaded her to send him money.

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SU suffered serious mental health issues resulting in suicide attempts and hospitalization as a result of her experience, according to the lawsuit.

SU and her mother, CU, say the companies have failed to ensure the safety of minors using their platforms, and that Snap and Instagram have encouraged addiction among children. They seek unspecified damages.

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