A lawsuit issued by the Roblox Corporation last November against one of the game's most controversial content creators has recently ended with a rare sentence. Ruben Sim has earned himself a permanent ban from the game and its services, by order of the US District Court of the Northern District of California.
Known in real life as Benjamin Rober Simon, Ruben Sim has been officially banned from Roblox for several years but has continued to get on the platform via "hacking" and using accounts made by other people. Roblox's lawyers say that, among other things, Ruben's initial ban was for harassing users, using racist and homophobic slurs, and uploading photos of Adolf Hitler. Most recently, Ruben had posted "terrorist threats" that forced the Roblox Developers Conference, held last October in San Francisco, to temporarily shut down. According to the lawsuit, which can be found on Scribd, Ruben and his "cybermob" followers glamorized the 2018 YouTube headquarters shooting, posted fake threats, and Ruben posted, among other now-deleted tweets, that San Francisco police were "searching for [a] notorious Islamic Extremist" at RDC 2021. It cost $50,000 to investigate and secure the event.
The judgment for this suit, which was posted on January 14th and reviewed by Ars Technica, doesn't go into every claim levied against Ruben, but he still has to pay $150,000 out of the $1.5 million Roblox sought in damages. In addition to the fine and court-ordered ban, Ruben now has a restraining order that requires him to stay 100 feet away from official Roblox offices. This case is a stipulated order agreed upon by both parties, so this case won't set a legal precedent for future cases and won't be going to trial. If the case did go to trial, it's possible that the screenshots and archived social media posts the Roblox Corporation's lawsuit included might have been brought out and their allegations would have been explored further.
Toxic fanbases, such as Ruben's cybermob, are certainly not uncommon in games and have been a problem for a long time. Recently, several different games had to temporarily shut down their subreddits or threaten a shutdown due to their fans being extremely toxic, including threats to the lives of the developers. Sony President Shuhei Yoshida even asked players to be "kind and constructive" with their criticism because "not all the devs have his same mental fortitude for insults and feel hurt with how some players have been responding to the team." Given how the case against Ruben went, it's entirely possible that some other developers may decide to go to the courts to get legal backing against trolls and those who keep trying to bypass bans.