Every Game Should Copy Rainbow Six's New Chat Moderation

Screenshot: Ubisoft, Rainbow Six Siege

Earlier this year, Ubisoft said it would be implementing stricter moderation in Rainbow Six Siege to find and sanction players using hate speech. Recently, players have started noticing an uptick in bans being issued and have been discussing it on the game’s subreddit. A few even took to Twitter to complain.

“fuck you guys i just got a ban for saying nibba in chat,” one player tweeted at Ubisoft last Friday, “nibba” being a thinly-veiled way of saying the n-word. .

“Good,” the publisher responded.

In March, Ubisoft announced it would begin banning Rainbow Six Siege players caught using racial or homophobic slurs for anywhere from a few days to life.

The next month, it laid out in more detail how the rules would work, saying it would track the frequency with which certain people used hate speech, then dole out punishments depending on the severity of each case.

The post also said a new system would be rolled out during season three, which began in June, that would monitor how many times different players triggered an automated system meant to censor offensive words used in text chat.

As noted by PC Gamer, that’s the policy Ubisoft pointed players to on Twitter last week when they questioned what had changed. Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request by Kotaku for comment clarifying when these changes originally went into effect.

The bans have become such a big topic of conversation in the Rainbow Six Siege community in large part because of how swift and public they’ve been. Instead of quietly whisking the offending players away, an automated announcement is made in the game’s public channel notifying everyone who’s online that someone has been banned for hate speech or toxic behaviour, a feature that was previously used for instances of cheating.

Unlike the targeted bans for more general, ongoing toxic behaviour, bans for first-time chat offenders appear to only last a couple hours or less.

While some players are upset over the changes, others have enthusiastically embraced it.

“Just wanted to say I’ve watched a few people get banned right in front of my eyes! It’s beautiful!” wrote a player who goes by TheDeaves on the game’s subreddit.

“I’m glad they are taking the harshest route possible with this because all the people complaining that it’s unfair have just been getting away with being shitty for too long, enjoy the two hour ban boys, think before you type next time!”

Screenshot: Rainbow Six Siege, Reddit

At the same time, the new chat monitoring system has also created a new metagame, in which some players try to bait one another into typing something that could be construed as hate speech in order to get them banned and removed from a match. Eurogamer reported on the phenomenon over the weekend, and while it’s difficult to know how widespread it is, plenty of players have come forward admitting to it on social media.

“I feel like a dick, but I used this to my advantage earlier today,” wrote one player in a now-locked Reddit thread about the new bans.

“In a ranked game I typed in chat ‘don’t be racist’, and an enemy got instantly kicked because I baited him into typing something racist.” Someone else responded, “lmao, still his fault and a worthy ban.”

It’s hard to disagree. If someone says “don’t be racist” and your immediate response is to be racist, you probably deserved a ban. Other situations described by players are less cut and dried. Other players report trying to get people banned by asking questions about nicknames for raccoons in an attempt to get someone to unwittingly type a slur. In some cases, it’s worked. In others, players have been hoisted on their own petards.

“I tried to bait people into saying fag with the old ‘what’s the British slang term for cigar’ trick in a casual match but it was late and accidentally typed ‘what’s the British slang term for fag’ because I was so tired, 25 minute suspension,” wrote one player.

Despite the short suspension, they added that they agreed with Ubisoft’s new punishment system and had only themselves to blame.

While the whole “trying to bait other players into getting banned for hate speech” phenomenon is likely to go away once more players become aware of the new system for combating toxic behaviour, it’s been cathartic to see this kind of shitty behaviour, which exists in just about every online multiplayer game, cracked down on in such a visible way.

While most games have some sort of reporting system, especially good ones like Overwatch’s, remain the exception. Implementing a system to, at the very least, censor slurs that get typed in chat and punish the players responsible seems like lower-hanging fruit and something other companies should invest in making the norm across online gaming.


Comments

    Love the first tweet linked in the article
    "I didn't use this specific word in my racial abuse, so how come I got banned for racial abuse"

      "I'm just trying to work out which racial abuse is acceptable!"

    Surely this would have been better managed with a chat filter and rep system ala Overwatch.

    Whilst I generally don't care for this rubbish, I am annoyed at how easy it is to mistype frag.

      Much less not being able to discuss Cartman's Superhero alter-ego in chat, or brands of Australian cheese.

    Dystopian.
    If you don't like what someone says either mute them or make a better argument. Corporate censorship is no different than government censorship. My dollars will not go to corporations that censor speech.

      Good, one less dick to deal with. Since page views are money you should stop coming here too, try voat.

        *censored for 25 minutes* *Please do not use the slang for Richard*

      Boxejuce. Defender of those poor racist who cant spout off in rainbox six anymore. Wont anyone think of the racists!

      It is a virtual private space(game) they can put in place what rules they want, if you're not happy about those rules go play another game then.

      Freedom of speech =/= The right for a platform for your speech to be heard. If players don’t like that Ubisoft don’t want to give them a platform for hate speech then mute themselves or join or create a platform that supports it and be relegated to the fringe with the rest of the loons who still think it is ok.

    My only issue with how Siege handles the bans is that there have been people talking in other languages completely innocuous getting banned. I have a Swedish friend who received a short ban on the first day for calling the final round in his language, though I don't believe it has banned him again (also not sure if he dares saying final round again either).

    So I guess I don't mind it in some games if tooled correctly to understand context, but that likely won't happen.

    You can tell this article was written by a white person. Just all privilege and what he wants with no actual thought to poc. Poc express themselves vibrantly and part of their fight against colonialism is taking back words like the n word. Great job, now you are trampling on poc expression since theres no way to know who wrote the word.

    The relative power of the person and who they are matters more than what they are saying. Until there is some way to know this as well, all i see is white people's need to control a space stepping on poc who are denied that power.

      Just say black or African American. Seriously. No one but deluded morons gets offended at calling someone black or african.

      The fact you cant even bring yourself to say person of colour says a lot about you. It is ironic though you can say white person but not black person.

    I hope over time they actually improve this system, make it account for things like context and region before autobanning. There's already a clip floating around of a foreign streamer who was tricked into typing the shorthand for raccoon.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now