Roblox, although a game catered for its pre-teen demographic and with the game’s meteoric rise to being established as the household name for kids around the world. The story of Roblox isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
The game has been fraught with its fair share of controversy. Some minor and some major, this article delves deeper into the labyrinth of controversies that Roblox and its community had to endure to get to its current state, as well as the triumphs that make the game such a household name.
Note: This events are not organized in any order.
The John Doe and Jane Doe Epidemic
Numerous mysteries surround the Jane and John Doe Roblox accounts, which have both intrigued and terrified avid Robloxians worldwide. With so many rumors circulating about the true identities and purposes of these accounts, it’s no surprise that so many of you have found yourselves clutching your wallet full of Robux, fearful that the mysterious hacking duo will deplete your inventory’s content to a ground zero state.
The John Doe and Jane Doe debacle account was a test account created by the two Roblox CEOs Erik Cassel and David Baszucki. The names we’re used as placeholders that would label any unfinished assets.
In 2017 a potent rumor was spread claiming that John Doe was a hacker was further exacerbated by YouTubers playing into the “Joke”. Naturally, this sent the Roblox community into a frenzy, and the plight of John and Jane Doe spread, resembling the Herobrine easter egg in Minecraft. Eventually, Roblox released an official blog post noting that any Jane and John Doe accounts pose no threats to anyone.
The PewDiePie Ban
Eyebrows are going to be raised whenever the biggest YouTuber in the world is involved. PewDiePie was an avid Roblox player, granted his interest was primarily satirical, but the wandering eyes that he attracts are invaluable to everyone. In PewDiePie’s futile attempt at regaining his throne against T-Series, he would steam Roblox every day.
On the fateful night of 17th November 2019, Felix logged onto Roblox as normal with the dreaded “You’re Banned” notice being displayed. Fans speculated far and wide as to what the reason for the ban was since the Roblox streams were a massive hit. This consequently led to enraged fans of PewDiePie spamming “Free PewDiePie” in every Roblox game with some fans planning a max exodus of the game until the ban was lifted. At the peak of the exodus, it was estimated that it caused a 3 percent decrease in total player count that weekend.
Eventually, a Roblox moderator came forth as the reason why PewDiePie was banned deeming a game that he had created “Inappropriate for Roblox”. This debacle resulted in a complete overhaul of the Roblox moderation system for the better and is the reason why it is so robust currently.
You would assume that a game played predominantly by children under 16 would be relieved from the pressures of politics. This was not the case in July 2020 when a plethora of Roblox accounts had been hacked and transformed into pro-Trump propaganda regurgitating machines.
With the hacks, the Roblox account sends other “Uninformed” players pro-Trump messages along with giving their respective avatars a complete “MAGA-fication” donning a red cap evocative of the MAGA hat dressed down with an eagle T-shirt. Quite the fashion statement. Accompanying the wardrobe makeover, the spam of “Ask your parents to vote for Trump this year” was sent to everyone on the victims’ friends list.
2012 April Fools Incident
The Roblox website was heavily compromised during the 2012 April Fools’ Day incident, resulting in the website being taken offline for a brief period of time. While no actual hacking of the website occurred, this did overwhelm the Roblox admin panel. The incident was a widespread and highly publicized one.
The hackers released hidden content that was not for the public eye and subsequently released more unreleased items as time went on. The “Hack” lasted for all of a day since on the 2nd of April Roblox regained control and brought the site offline. They patched the vulnerabilities and issued a public statement sending their grievances to those who had been adversely affected by the hack.
Lil Nas X Concert
With the unparalleled success Fortnite was having with their live events, garnering millions upon millions of players every event, it was only time for Roblox to follow suit. With Lil Nas X headlining the first live event records we’re bound to be broken. The Lil Nas X concert garnered 33 million views over the 2 days that the event happened.
There have been plenty of concerts that came after with the likes of big names (ex. Twenty One Pilots, KSI, The Chainsmokers, and Tate Mcrae) adding their own twist to the game feature. Lil Nas X was a stepping stone as for as events were concerned, with every consequent event upping the grandeur every time.
2016 Roblox Hack
The 2016 Roblox Hack, or Security Breach as it is sometimes referred to is perhaps one of the most grandeur attempts made to take down the website. In mid-July, a group of unauthorized individuals access the admin panel of Roblox’s Customer Service test site.
This particular site, while not the actual live rendition of the site, did contain an entire database of production-level information from 2012. With it, individual who had played or used Roblox in 2012 could have these particular sets of information be compromised:
- Credit card information
- IP addresses / logs
- Robux balances
A compromised staff account was used to access the database in the first place. The data was being scraped when the attackers were caught and booted off the site. However, the damage was already done and it has been reported that about 150,000 accounts were compromised in the process.
Many inactive accounts from that era had their logins sold depending on the account’s value as well. Following this, Roblox was forced to send out Security Notifications to certain accounts who the company thought might have had their information compromised.
Luckily, a vast majority of Robloxxians were not caught in the crossfire of this security breach.
2021 Roblox Downtime
On October 28, 2021, at 4:04 PM Roblox was meant to go under its regularly scheduled maintenance, but something went awry. The downtime led to features like Avatar Editor, Avatars, chat, and in-game performance being degraded significantly. Usually, Roblox maintenance lasts no more than 30 minutes, but this issue seemed parasitic. Problems kept on popping up, and fixing the game in a pseudo-vegetative state was no longer an option. Hence, after hour 5 of persistent issues, Roblox became inaccessible to users for the first time in history.
The downtime would last 72 hours, with the majority of their player base being put in a queue in an order to circumvent the waves of players logging on at the same time. This further added fuel to the blaze that the Roblox community was in.
This was such a paragon event in Roblox’s history, that there is a commemorative tip that says “Downtimes don’t last longer than 24 hours” during the maintenance hours landing page.
Where do we begin with team c00lkidd? Team cool kid c00lkidd was a user that joined Roblox in November 2013. He is responsible for one of the biggest exploit hacks Roblox has ever experienced; he hacked many popular Roblox games such as Work At A Pizza Place and Prison Life in 2014.
Once he had control of the games, the game suddenly changed colors to red, and weird music tracks began to play the music tracks were just a mix of other songs that were mashed together to produce the eeriest sounding track. Most of the players got annoyed and stopped playing the game entirely.
Now later on Roblox, they managed to terminate c00lkidd, but his group was still active for two more years. Wreaking havoc on infant servers far and wide. Team c00lkidd carries its reputation as being the most successful hacking group in Roblox history on the basis of how many games were affected.
The T-Shirt Incident
Not very well-known, but for a brief time in 2020, hackers were able to upload T-Shirts on any Roblox account. This led to obscene T-Shirts being uploaded on the official Roblox account alongside the aforementioned John, and Jane Doe accounts being compromised as well.
Contrary to popular belief, the actual accounts were not compromised or hacked in any way or form. The hackers were able to access the API (the system used to upload T-Shirts) and were, therefore, able to upload clothing to any account regardless of whether they had the login for the account or not.
The bug was quickly fixed, and all compromised T-Shirts were removed from the system. Here’s a quick look at one of those T-Shirts. (We’ve blurred out the profanities).