Singapore's Internal Security Department (ISD) is keeping tabs on videogame platforms and social media for terror-related activity, according to a new report from The Straits Times. Of all things, the report specifically names Roblox - a game that a lot of parents are probably very familiar with.
Roblox is an online game platform that has become massively popular with young gamers, mostly children. The application lets users create and control avatars, which they use to interact with other players and play minigames together online.
There’s nothing particularly nefarious about that on its own, but the ISD notes that extremist groups might be sharing far-right extremist propaganda on the platform to young players.
The ISD states that it is well aware of these, “insidious activities,” and has been monitoring gaming platforms and social media for such extremist activity.
The agency has also reportedly blocked access to content like this in Singapore. A spokesman said, “ISD is aware that social media and video gaming platforms have been abused for recruitment and propaganda purposes by far-right and other extremist groups."
They continued, “Where feasible, the authorities can block and have blocked local access to online extremist content to minimise exposure to our local population." A report released by ISD last month stated that far-right extremism is an emerging threat in Singapore, so it makes sense that they’re monitoring online platforms for such activity.
Don’t underestimate how young Roblox’s playerbase is, by the way. According to Statista, only 14 per cent of Roblox’s players are over the age of 25. One has to wonder what other games the ISD are keeping an eye on too.
This article was first published in Hardware Zone.