On October 23, hundreds of young Malaysian children gathered in the Roblox metaverse to show their support for Palestine amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Unable to participate in real-life protests due to their age, they organized a virtual march for pro-Palestine advocacy.
Using a dedicated server on the Roblox platform, these youngsters joined as avatars that carried the Palestinian flag and marched together.
Following the march, the avatars gathered in front of a stage featuring a large screen displaying the Malay message “Solidarity Untukmu Palestine,” translating to “Solidarity for you Palestine.”
Video recordings of their virtual demonstration quickly went viral on social media, capturing the avatars in unity.
The protest gained widespread attention when a user on X (formerly Twitter) shared a post about a 15-year-old cousin who couldn’t attend physical protests and thus joined the one on Roblox.
Virtual protesters conveyed their support by typing messages in both Malay and English, which were then showcased above their avatars.
Notably, while the protest remained non-hostile and free of hate speech, some messages were subject to censorship by Roblox’s existing moderation tools. Phrases such as “Jews,” “Hamas,” and “Free Palestine” were among the terms restricted, regardless of the context, as part of Roblox’s efforts to maintain a platform free from harmful or divisive content.
Roblox permits discussions related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, as long as they adhere to the platform’s guidelines and do not incite inflammatory behavior.
At one point, the server hosting the protest was temporarily taken offline for review, but it was eventually restored after a few hours.
This event is another example of people turning to digital platforms to express their viewpoints and engage in virtual protests, following similar demonstrations related to the protests against the Russian invasion in Ukraine within the Final Fantasy game and support for the Black Lives Matter movement within Animal Crossing.