Online gaming platform sues content creator over false terror threats
Pexels / Pixabay
Online gaming platform sues content creator over false terror threats

Roblox, an online game platform, sued content creator Benjamin Robert Simon on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California for encouraging “unlawful acts designed to injure Roblox and its users.”

Roblox alleges that Simon lead a “cybermob” and posted false and misleading threats to deter users from participating in the platform’s in-person and online events. False bomb and terror threats led to police activity and a temporary shut-down of the Roblox Developers Conference 2021 (RDC) in San Francisco, California. Roblox alleges that it incurred more than $50,000 in expenses to secure the conference and investigate the incident.

The platform also alleges that in the days leading up to the conference, Simon and his followers glamorized the April 2018 shooting at the YouTube headquarters in California and threatened a “copycat act” of terrorism at Roblox headquarters. Simon is reported to have made statements such as “wait until [someone] does it to Roblox,” and “[d]on’t Come to RDC Tomorrow.”

Simon has been long banned from the platform for “repeatedly using racial and homophobic slurs and profanity, engaging in sexual conversation, and uploading inappropriate lewd content.” Roblox alleges that he has targetted their employees multiple times through campaigns of harassment and cyberbullying. Despite being aware of his permanent ban from accessing the platform, and that Roblox has put up serval barriers to block his access, Simon has repeatedly hacked the platform to gain unauthorized to the site.

Roblox is suing Simon for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act. Additionally, Roblox included counts of breach of user contract, fraud, tortious interference with prospective economic relations, and tortious interference with contract.

The platform is seeking a permanent injunction against Simon from accessing the platform, approaching their office, harassing their users and employees, and making false statements or threats that impact Roblox. It is also seeking actual damages of $150,000, punitive damages of $1,500,000 and disgorgement of Simon’s “ill-gotten gains.”