whitelist

New “White List” System Gives Everyone a Voice

whitelistWe’ve overhauled our chatting system in order to allow those who are under 13 to speak freely and safely using a new chat filtering “white list” system. We tapped ROBLOX Web Engineer Allen Liu to explain the implementation and recent deployment of this new feature.

We want every single builder–regardless of their age–to have the ability to communicate, interact and participate in everything ROBLOX has to offer, and do so safely. Communication, in many cases, is one of the keys to creating and promoting content on our platform. We recently took steps to ensure that everyone has a voice. Those steps lead to the deployment of our brand new “white list” system.

ROBLOX already has a “black list” system in effect for users over 13. This system allows users to say almost anything, with the exception of foul or inappropriate language that is “black listed.” Whenever somebody uses profane language on ROBLOX, those words go through our black list filter and the inappropriate language is removed immediately.

Our new “white list” is essentially the opposite. Users who are 13 or younger will fall under the white list–which is essentially a different type of filter altogether–in that it’s a list of words that users can say. This has been successfully rolled out across all facets of ROBLOX, and the implications for younger users are varied– you can now do things like write game descriptions, update your status on your profile, participate in forum discussions, talk on group walls, name the clothing you create–you now have the power of communication and complete participation!

Here’s how it works. Every time a user under the age of 13 puts text on ROBLOX–and we mean anywhere, be it a profile, a group wall, the forums, or in-game–every word is put through the white list filter. This filter is much bigger than the black list, because it features words that are safe to use. So when a younger user says something anywhere on ROBLOX, that text is sent through our white list filter, then sent back to us with hash tags over inappropriate words.

This system is dynamic in that the list is constantly updating itself, and we’re constantly adding words to the system to ensure as many safe words get through as possible. Our white list initially blocked the use of numbers, for example, which we had to stop it from doing–numbers are an important way to communicate in ROBLOX, and we certainly want everyone to be able to communicate math and physics (not to mention Lua code) when they’re talking about building with friends.

We want the entirety of ROBLOX to be able to communicate with one another and participate in everything our platform has to offer. After all, ROBLOX is 100% fueled by our community’s hunger for creation and creativity. This represents one step toward getting even more people involved in expression.

About Allen Liu

Web Engineer at ROBLOX.

341 thoughts on “New “White List” System Gives Everyone a Voice

  1. IAMAZBENAZ123

    I think there should be an auto correct for younger kids. They always pretend to be 13+ and misspell words and when they misspell, I always see this #####. Please add this, I would appreciate it. I sometimes don’t even know what their saying.

  2. Silviathehedgehog17

    now is only they added voice chat for 13+ huh? now that is something i’m waiting for…but now its werid because you can’t see what others typed if it has “####” instead of the words.

  3. PlantMrAwesome

    I bet you -13 players wish you had black list chat. I have for ages, and it’s totally awesome! :D

  4. Anonymous User

    Uhg. This is really annoying. I keep seeing ### stuff, most of the time it is just misspelled words!

  5. ThunderWarrior776

    Overall, I feel bad for 13- users. Why the heck are the words seesaw, come, house, and Harry Potter banned? I’ve seen a 13+ user bully a kid about how he saw “####”. So if you don’t really want 13+ users getting in fights with kids who see “########” every single day, I’d remove it.

    1. AlphaWarrior54

      Black List- Blocks curse words

      White List- Blocks all unknown words or words that haven’t been added to the White List

    2. johny52

      The whitelist only affects 13- users. It’s a list of things people CAN say. Because of this, it’s much larger than the blacklist.

  6. Parker Stephens

    This sounds dumb. I am 13- and We should all use the same white/black lists. I don’t like this. When I talk to my best friend if he says foul language I can’t see it and I have no clue what he is talking about!

  7. icedragon1101

    i dont really think this is a good idea because younger kids cant really spell so i think everyone should be put under blacklist or at least given the option to go under it

  8. XxEatMaCookiexX

    There are flaws within the systems, than again, not everything is perfect, nor will be. I really do think that Guests should be able to chat with the users of ROBLOX to figure out how to do things, how to script, how to build, etc. But, I’ve seen about 90% of the roleplayers (Younglings) start talking about inappropriate things such as intercourse. I do report them, but you should also have people go around, and try to figure out every possible spelling of rude words. I am a roleplayer myself, but I have never Online Dated nor had used such inappropriate words. Kids nowadays have no consequence in their mind, meaning they think they can do whatever they want, and they do. I really wish I could become apart of the staff, just so I could help fix these problems. Than again, I am not above the years of 18.

  9. willrebel

    you guys should add a thing wear you can talk on a head set like on xbox live or somthing but then again nvm some 6 year olds may get annoying LOL

  10. Mccc457

    I think a text-to -speech should be implemented, with 3d sound, and a “shout” feature if you want to make everyone hear your “voice”

  11. Nm13

    Im gonna say something that doesn’t have to do with this.When we buy something on catalog and you don’t like because in isn’t transparent,and you remove it from your inventory.Why don’t you get your tix/robux back???

  12. kingrj

    I like the white list idea because now it sensors stuff like frick or fack so people cant use “replacement” swear words

  13. keydo

    This is stupid. Now when 9im at a group training withe veryone 13+ including me it still uses whitelist and when we say that we killed someone ingame it filters. It also filter pretty much everything that is used for group language.

  14. supermonkey42000

    Guests should be able to talk, too.
    Also, lots of words that aren’t bad like up, seesaw, and house are censored.
    Also also, why is there still a chat menu on my screen if I’m a 13+ and with the new system?
    I like the idea of this new system, but it still needs some work.

  15. foffler

    I have to be honest – I think we need to see the algorithm used to check these before we say it is a good or bad idea. Surely checking every word (and, possibly, every context) uses a LOT of computing power? And, if not that, don’t you now have an entire dictionary with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of words stored?

  16. leetwizard

    This is overly sensitive and needs to be heavily fine-tuned. ATLEAST let us know when something we said was censored, roblox! Jeez.

      1. lover67876

        Me three! Make it happen Roblox! It should be that You can use both…You can Type,And talk At the same time :D. I already Got my headset ready :3

      1. johny52

        Jaden, it would be near impossible to add a whitelist to voice chat, since people have not found a way to filter voice yet.

  17. VeryAwesomeRyann

    Now I uderstand more about this chat update.

    Aso, I try pasting lua code but it kept coming out wrong.. Well I will continue trying, maybe I am just pasting it wrong, well so much to learn..

  18. abigaildrew2013

    everyone has great comments and u all r thinking of the ups and downs of the idea and that’s great to think of both instead of one! I totally agree with all ur opinions but some people just have to be the bigger person and not say foul words and not start fights but if someone does just report them instead of adding more trouble! I have learned many times from experience and now I have learned to be the bigger person so u should to! learn from ur mistakes and experience! learn from everyone who has commented and don’t just stand there report or take action do what u think is right do what u think is right for Roblox!!!!

  19. Jenngo

    Here’s the prob: Older kids and younger kids could get in huge fights! That wouldn’t be good for the young, because when they see those words, they sometimes say it again! Sometimes in REAL! Other than that, I think everyone should talk, including guests, to not feel like they’re alone with no one to talk to.

  20. Catgogo5 a.k.a StarKiller

    Everyone deserves to talk,if guests neeeded an opinion of roblox they deserve the right to ask such,besides many people who start as guests eventully become users with no clue what to do,even need support in genres.

      1. lover67876

        Agreed. it Would Give Guests A chance to try out roleplaying to. I see alot of guest on roleplaying severs..And they cant do anything.

  21. Liam McKee

    We shouldbe able to say all things then get it montered i mean there are scripts that block bad word and make robblox safe.

  22. WealthyWar3587

    Doing great guys. next step; remove the chatmenu and let guests talk too. all you have to do is delete the chat menu code and add guests to the whitelisting filter program.

  23. exgrath77

    that is cool but im worried for older kids to get into fights with them and also now that we have new chat things they should make something that will allow you to caht with your team in every game so you can stragtise and and other things without having the other team hear it

    1. chickinnugget

      They already have that sort of. But only with your teamate. Its in a game called The conqueors or something like that. It lets you talk with your ally and just them.

    2. Marshallmario

      Hold shift and press 5 and you will get this % in the chat bar , enter your sentence after it , don’t put a space after the % and there you go team only chat , if it doesn’t work and on the chat screen in doesn’t show (TEAM)’Sentence goes here’ then try two % example:%%We need backup at flag B

    3. Get rekt

      There already is. Use the percentage (%) character before a message to only let your team hear.

    4. jhbomber2

      Yeah, but the safe chatters(before) could see what you chat in the chat bar even if they were safe chatters.

  24. PieCinemaGaming

    Yes, finally we have the freedom of speech instead of just seeing ### all the time. But now we can hear the other people actually chatting.

  25. badcole123

    13+ people can say two bad words. I like it back then when just the system would do the work and you could type anything you want and if you said something bad you would be banned right then

  26. FireFang728

    I love the idea, but there’s one problem. Words like “Down” “Come” “House” And others that aren’t swear words are censored.
    That’s the problem. Still a good idea!

    1. MrJamesRoboto

      Here is another problem.The whitelist filters words that aren’t really bad.And I agree to fire.

  27. F.J.

    I like how we can participate more but now you can’t read group comments as well as we use to now when your white list. But AWESOME IDEA because now you can do parties and know which BFs are online!

  28. JustinScott

    I don’t see this being an entirely good thing for kids 9 and under. I personally know for one that kids at this age don’t have proper grammar or don’t behave which means fights in game… And plus instead of just saying the word they can go “#####” “#######”. I’m not complaining, though. When I went to a site with a similar white list system it had messed up the whole chat experience, I couldn’t say some non-foul words, because they had a censor over it.

  29. dqflynn

    I really am glad people under 13 can have a actual voice. but I think it should be under 9 or so instead of 13. That way, people can use the blacklist that actually CAN handle abbreviations and whatnot. I remember being younger and having to go through my descriptions and seeing a bunch of words tagged like “ad” and “purple”, so to avoid mistakes like that, maybe just use the blacklist,
    but I don’t want to start a fight, it’s roblox’s choice.

  30. iiimee101

    I think everybody should be under the black list, because many younger kids cannot spell correctly.

  31. hehehe trool faic

    its a great idea but there going to need time to put in all the words i mean for the next month or so ever sentence for people under 13 will look like. “hi ***** i was **** creating my *** place would *** like to help its my place number *

  32. Bugor

    … How about a 15+ filter too? Players could say whatever they wanted and use microphones, but this would be optional on games, since players under 15 wouldn’t be able to hear the conversation.

    This could give war groups etc. a greater use of teamwork, similar to TF2’s Highlander groups.

  33. Joanna

    Yea, I think guests should be able to talk because everyone gets annoyed when they use the chat menu

  34. Fannybs

    I think they should make a tag in account settings that says “I will allow my kid to switch to the blacklist setting” or “I want my kid to the whitelist setting.”

  35. shadowninja424

    Does ok but some people do around it and on Egyptian Kingdom roleplay i cant say needed words
    like rope or chain/chains

  36. imabowen

    i think 13+ players should be able to say anything and under 13 should only see blank if someone swears and 13 above should be able to see what it says

  37. Skeleton9

    ROBLOX, for some odd reason, has banned certain movie titles and abbreviations. I was hoping the ones on LordofdaRings and HarryPottah (Obviously these are edited) could be removed from the black-list.

  38. Silverstarlifesecond

    -eyebrow raise- so its the same as before except with more word options? I know this isn’t a Democracy but can we have a vote and imput suggestions as to what to do with this? Like: What about misspelings? we should keep Black list for BOLTH age groups…. get my point? can you guys,at least when you are going to release something ask for opinions before you release it and if you feel the person making an opinion has a good point can you guys at LEAST tweak it abit? Becuase there are some bad ideas.

    My point is if you guys put in the wrong stuff you could lose players (Not just White list…) so its probably a good idea to ask some of the users via blog.

    I hope you guys take my suggustion into consideration.

    -Silver

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