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Online dating (ODing) is the practice of searching for a romantic or sexual partner on the Internet. People who online date are most commonly known as online daters (ODers). Online dating is strongly discouraged by various Internet communities that do not intend to facilitate it, including Roblox.

Online dating is currently against Roblox's Community Standards, and anyone who participates in said activities risks punishment to their account, such as their account being banned. As with any policy, there are still users that violate the rules, and attempt looking for romantic partners on Roblox. Online daters have been a long-standing topic in Roblox's community.

Ever since the removal of the Roblox forums, online dating has become more acceptable on the Roblox platform. David Baszucki announced in a blog post that online dating could be allowed on Roblox in the future.[1]

Premise

On Roblox, online dating can occur in any experience or on the website. It is common in life-simulation roleplay games, but these games also contain players simply roleplaying in romance-adjacent themes, which are often mistaken for actual online dating.

In some instances, personal information may also be exchanged. Roblox's chat filter is designed to prevent this by censoring most methods of sharing information (such as number tagging) that can be used to identify oneself. However, online daters may attempt to find ways around this by altering their words or by requesting that the other party communicates with them through an off-platform venue/website, such as Discord, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Whether a player is an "online dater" subject to Roblox's policies can only be reliably identified by if they are actually trying to date other players using Roblox. Online dating should be reported using the Report Abuse feature.

What is and is not online dating

The following instances or behaviors are what would be considered online dating on Roblox, in regards to Roblox policy:

  • Asking in an experience or on the website for a romantic or sexual partner (boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.)
  • Engaging in openly romantic behavior with another player, in the intent of it being aimed at the actual person
  • Engaging in sexual behavior with another player, regardless of intent

The following instances are not online dating on Roblox, in regards to Roblox policy:

  • Roleplaying romance-adjacent themes, or roleplaying harmless 'dates' very clearly in a roleplay context (e.g. a school dance in a school roleplay game)
  • Users who are dating outside of Roblox choosing to play Roblox together
  • Dressing in certain ways (e.g. dressing realistically or in trendy clothing)

Stereotypes

Throughout Roblox's development, multiple stereotypes have formed regarding online daters. Historically, some stereotypes for online daters include those whose avatars are dressed as realistically, aesthetically, or 'trendy' as possible; certain bundles, accessories, faces, UGC items, and clothing are sometimes stereotyped as 'ODer items' in some communities.

Players who wear these items are sometimes perceived as or assumed to be online daters by people in these communities, even if they are not actually partaking in any behavior or actions related to online dating (which would mean that they are not an online dater). Online daters can have their avatars dressed in any way; avatar appearance should never be used to determine if someone is an online dater or not.

Criticism

Against online dating

Aside from being against the rules and not fitting in with the kid-friendly nature of Roblox (or the general safety of minors and their personal information), there are risks associated with online dating given the anonymity on the platform. For example, some online daters are people trying to catfish others, or child predators that are looking to prey on children. There is no way to safely know who other players are, or if they are telling the truth about themselves.

Some players are openly against users dating on or through Roblox. Some even take a vigilante approach to online dating, such as looking for players in experiences that are openly dating, and reporting them or trying to dissuade them with various methods.

Against vigilante approach to online daters

On the other hand, some players have criticized people who argue about this topic on the website or otherwise "hunt" for online daters. While Roblox does not want their platform to be a place to form romantic relationships, there are some content creators (especially YouTubers) that claim that online dating is a widespread problem, though there is little evidence to corroborate this claim. In response, some users believe these claims are heavily exaggerated and melodramatic. They feel that most instances rarely ever escalate past a game server and that the chances of actual predators being present are significantly lower than claimed. Players that are roleplaying in romance-adjacent topics, or that fit stereotypes of online daters, are often targeted by vigilante behavior, sometimes resulting in harassment or false reporting.

YouTube and anti-ODing

Some popular Roblox YouTubers attempt to disrupt online daters by trolling them, using methods such as using admin commands, exploiting, or aiming to cause drama between them by intentionally starting arguments or being irritating. For certain YouTubers, these videos used to serve as one of their main types of content. Others such as KonekoKitten do not condone online dating, but also discourage trolling, primarily due to it being counterproductive.

Games commonly associated with online daters

Online dating can occur in any Roblox experience of any genre. However, certain genres may be more appealing to the types of users that wish to break the rules and look to date through Roblox. Such examples of these games can include roleplay games, club games, "Girls/Boys Only" games, middle/high school/college games, and adoption games. However, this does not mean that a game of these genres are intended to appeal to online daters. Additionally, an experience happening to have a lot of instances of online dating (being "popular" for online daters) does not mean that the experience (or the developers of the experience) condone or intended for it to be used for online dating.

While developers can implement measures or actions against online dating in their experiences, they are under no obligation to do so, as it is Roblox's responsibility to moderate these issues on the platform. The minimum that can be enforced upon them is that all features in their experience apply to the rules, such as filtering visible text input. Generally, it is difficult for individuals to deal with these problems, and issues should be reported to Roblox (mainly by using the Report Abuse feature). Due to concerns about the possibility of online dating in experiences, anti-online dating scripts have been created by programmers on Roblox that take action against users in experiences who use specific prohibited words. One of these users, Person299, developed a script that kicks a player if they say a certain word twice⁠[citation needed]. However, much like the chat filter, these can be bypassed.

References

  1. Baszucki, David (2023, May 17). "Our Vision for All Ages". From Roblox. Archived from the original on March 21, 2024.
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