The Weekly Raid: What Are Your Thoughts On Ubisoft's Anti-Toxicity Push?
Ubisoft's new anti toxicity measures for Rainbox Six Siege kicked in this week and the results have been mixed.
The new policy includes a list of forbidden words which when typed, result in an automatic ban. First time offenders cannot play any game mode, including custom matches, for ~27 minutes. Second and third time offenses last 2 hours while additional strikes lock the account until a manual review by the Ubisoft team.
A tweet by the Ubisoft team captured their resolve for fighting the toxicity issue:
But while the sentiment may be noble, such a harsh and automated process was bound to cause unintended consequences. Several users took to reddit to complain about how the overzealous chat filter has led to some amusing stories. One user was tricked into saying the word fag:
I was just playing a ranked match when someone said in the chat, "What's the British term for a cigarette?", I fell for it and typed "They call it a fag". Got hit with that 26 minute ban as well. Waited for my ban to end, tried queuing again, and got immediately hit with a message "Fairfight - You have been permanently suspended from multiplayer." -reddit user jjkauffman
Another user was banned simply for answering a question regarding his own ethnicity:
I was talking to a teammate in chat earlier and he asked me “what is your nationality” I told him “I’m paki” within 2 seconds I got banned for 26 minutes. This is just great the ban system it’s self is racist not the players. This game will be dead in no time. -reddit user nessobeatz
Ubisoft has made no mention on why they have decided to take the extreme position by banning users for using these words when they could have simply created a chat filter that prevents users from using those phrases.
Whats even more frightening about this policy is where it will lead given future technologial breakthroughs. So far, the automated banning system only works with text chat. But what if future technological updates allow easy filtering of voice communication. Could one wrong word get you instantly booted/banned from a match? What if other companies adopted a similar policy?
Will Ubisoft be able to maintain the current ban system or will they backtrack once the issues with it become better known?