Hackers allegedly spread pro-Trump propaganda through online gaming platform Roblox
TORONTO -- Many users of the popular online gaming platform Roblox are reporting that their accounts have been hacked in the past few weeks to display pro-Trump propaganda.
Users who claim to have been hacked have posted screenshots from their accounts on Twitter, showing profiles that had been edited to display the message: “Ask your parents to vote for Trump this year! #MAGA2020.”
“Who tf hacked into my roblox account and turned it into a Trump supporter,” one Twitter user wrote.
Some had their avatars re-modelled to wear red hats reminiscent of the MAGA hat popularized by U.S. President Donald Trump, or shirts emblazoned with an ostentatious bald eagle in front of an American flag.
Others said that hackers used their account to send friend requests and messages to their existing friends, urging them to tell their families to vote for Trump as well.
Roblox is a gaming platform where users across the globe can create their own games or play in others, featuring blocky avatars reminiscent of LEGO or Minecraft. It reached more than 100 million active players last year, according to the company, and its website says users clock 2.5 billion hours of engagement on the Roblox every month.
While the platform is used by gamers of all ages, it is marketed more towards a younger audience, with parental controls and safety tips for parents featured on the company’s website.
So far the company has not responded to hacked users who have tagged them in their questions on Twitter.
CTVNews.ca has reached out to the company for comment.
Exactly how many users have been hacked to display the political propaganda is unknown, but according to Gamespot, Google indexes the accounts of Roblox players, which means you can use the search engine to see how many times a certain message shows up on Roblox profiles.
Around 1,800 results come up on Google for Roblox profiles when you search the phrase, “Ask your parents to vote for Trump this year! #MAGA2020.”
A week ago, the company said in a press release that teenagers are using the gaming platform even more recently due to the pandemic forcing them to spend more time at home. They said more than half of the teenage users they surveyed reported using Roblox to keep in touch with real-life friends they can’t see physically.
For those who have been hacked, Roblox’s help website says you should get rid of any potential malware on your computer, restart, and reset your password.
To minimize the risk of being hacked, they recommend users create a unique password for their account and enable two-step verification.