Before IPO, Roblox may need to mind its language

It's been riding the 2020 entertainment boom.

And is on course for for a multibillion-dollar stock market debut before the end of the year.

But gaming platform Roblox has been confronted with some uncomfortable issues.

Searches have found in some game titles and user profiles, profanities and other offensive content that basic word-filtering tools are designed to catch.

Powered by user-created games, Roblox has often been hailed as a place for safe fun interactions for the youngest gamers.

But simple Google keyword searches of its site by Reuters turned up more than 100 examples of abusive language or imagery.

One profile for example, included "MOLESTINGKIDSISFUNTOME."

Other examples included deliberately misspelled obscenities and racial slurs.

Experts contacted by Reuters said they were surprised such terms got through, when they could be caught by basic filtering software.

In response to written questions, a company spokesperson said in a statement that Roblox “has no tolerance for inappropriate content" and has a "stringent safety system".

Last month Roblox removed the examples within hours of Reuters sharing them with the company.

It says it has 1,600 people working full time to eliminate inappropriate content.

And lets parents limit children to a curated list of games vetted for kids under the age of 13.

Reuters did not find any inappropriate content on such games.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook which publish quarterly transparency reports about purged content, Roblox does not provide such data.

That makes it difficult to tell how common it is.

But analysts warn that, as its stock listing draws near, the company could come under closer scrutiny from Wall Street.

One told Reuters that "from an investor perspective, it will be a major problem if the headlines months from now reveal that the company is unable to manage the risk of its platform."