Ubisoft to Crack Down on ‘Hate Speech’ in Rainbow Six Siege

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Ubisoft mods confirmed the ban system is not reliant on user reports, indicating it is likely AI-driven

Ubisoft has committed itself to eliminating what it deems to be “hate speech” in its online games. Earlier this week it announced changes to its Code of Conduct for Rainbow Six Siege in a Reddit post;

“Any language or content deemed illegal, dangerous, threatening, abusive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, racist, sexist, ethically offensive or constituting harassment is forbidden. This includes use of the above on the forums, via the in-game chat, or over VOIP.”

In response to a question in the thread, Ubisoft mods confirmed the ban system is not reliant on user reports, indicating that the new system likely detects “hate speech” automatically. A follow-up answer seemed to indicate retroactive bans would be possible.

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“We will be tracking the frequency at which language that violates the Code of Conduct is used by individual players, and will apply the appropriate ban on a case-by-case basis.”

The company will be implementing bans ranging from 2 days, 7 days, 15 days or a permanent ban in the most severe cases.

If you’ve spent any time playing online video games, you’ve had strangers question your sexuality or claim to have banged your mother.

Though Ubisoft is adamant that they are only intending to target homophobic and racist slurs where they would be deemed “toxic behaviour”, some players in the thread questioned the need for such measures. Most of these expressed concern over the subjective nature of the speech being targeted and what seem to be rules based on offense rather than a hard objective standard.

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Players of other online games such as Overwatch have expressed frustration at the wide net cast by devs when they attempt to take a hard line on stamping out “toxic behaviour”.

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20745135517

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Now I’m not saying Ubisoft needs to be anarchist with regard to regulating players communications with each other. I just believe there are better ways to go about discouraging toxicity than extremely loosely defined speech codes.

A number of commenters in the Reddit thread express their preference for the ability to give positive feedback players for polite and positive behaviour. Exclusive cosmetic rewards, the unlockables that players work toward as they level up and gain in-game currency, could even be given on this basis. Online gamers are competitive, that’s their motivation. And there’s no reason that can’t be harnessed to make them compete over politeness.

“This is our first step towards managing toxicity in Rainbow Six Siege, and we will have more information to share about our plans at a later date.”


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