Blizzard Is Now Monitoring YouTube For Toxic Overwatch Players

Blizzard Is Now Monitoring YouTube For Toxic Overwatch Players

Overwatch, a team-based shooter about working together, isn’t always the friendliest of places. From random quitters to that one guy who won’t stop calling me a cuck, players often find ways to be toxic. To combat the issue, Blizzard is now banning players misbehaving on social media.

In a developer update video yesterday, the game’s lead designer, Jeff Kaplan, outlined Blizzard’s effort to combat toxic players who can ruin the game with poor conduct and general douchebaggery. In the game’s earlier days, a confusing system for reporting players made it hard for players to call out bad behaviour. The tone of multiplayer matches varies, but turned more positive last year as Blizzard revised how they handled reported players. In yesterday’s video, Kaplan revealed another trick for policing the game: Checking out YouTube.

“We now proactively seek out social media sites like YouTube, for example and look for incidents of very toxic behaviour and track down the accounts that are participating and action them often times before anyone’s even reported them,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan did not specify which social media sites that Blizzard is patrolling to catch bad actors, nor did he give numbers for how many toxic players the studio found from searching YouTube. Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for details about the program, but had not heard back at time of writing.

Even without the program, things might be improving. According to Kaplan, incidents of abusive chat in competitive matches dropped 17 per cent while players’ reporting of poor behaviour increased 20 per cent. These changes came after the implementation the ability for console players to report unruly players.

While it’s unclear how much of a difference the program will make, it’s definitely a little odd knowing that Big Brother Blizzard might be watching your YouTube uploads. In theory, there’s nothing to worry about so long as you’re not adding another video to your teabagging playlist, but you might want to think again before shouting at Lucio to get on the damn point.


  • Come on blizzard stop trying to make your game super positive and just accept that toxicity exist

  • Maybe there is a more simple solution?
    How about giving players the opportunity to grade other players.
    If I see someone being obnoxious, then I can substantiate the grade by spelling out my observations (maybe include a screen/dialogue capture as well).
    The offending player has a chance to defend themselves.

    After say, 20 downgrades, then those players are now excluded from premium games. If they continue to 50+ bad reviews from other players (only one review per player permitted), then the ‘bad’ player is reduced to a player group that only includes other offenders

    Another approach would be to completely colour their avatar fluoro-green for 20+ bad reviews and then a soft pastel pink (also one colour) for 50+ bad reviews.
    Bad review counts can be subtracted by players of a similar or higher level.

    Checking a player’s info would show that they had offended in the past and to what level.

    I would like to have an ‘exclusion’ option, where I could choose to play in games where anyone with 20+ bad reviews was not allowed to play.

  • no way this can go wrong. not like someone can fraud themselves and get someone banned who isn’t even signed up with a social media account they monitor or anything.

    Seriously how much evidence do they think is necessary to prove the two accounts are owned by the same person. not like they can get someone’s IP address through youtube. If they could I’d be seriously worried about what sort of info was being sold to companies by google.

    • Doesn’t matter who uploads it or on what social media account, they’re looking at the content of the video, not the uploader. They cross-reference the names of the participants in the match on video against their internal match records to verify if it’s legit, nothing else needed.

  • Blizzard policing behaviour on platforms it does not own… cause that doesn’t sound like an unreliable way to curb toxic behaviour at all. But hey, go for it. Watch more players drop from the game to take up other games.

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