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Profanity vs Reporting

AuthorMessage
Survivor
Aug 05, 2009
5
Hello. I started playing this game almost 2 1/2 years ago because my 5 year old son saw the commercials on Catroon Network and wanted to play it. I downloaded the game and play-tested it to make sure it was easy enough to understand that he could do it, and child-safe enough that I'd be comfortable. I loved it and ended up being as much a player as he was (then evolved into playing more lol). I have been a gamer for over 20 years, table-top role-playing, PC and console,... I was impressed with the fun of play and the open/text/menu chat strategies sealed the deal. I was sold.

My son, 7 now, is a better reader and knows some of the "bad" words that he is not supposed to say. He doesn't use those words, and his account is still set on menu chat so he can't see what people type anyway. I, however, have open chat and play several of my 11 wizards with numerous friends and conversations and such.

Here's my issue... I have noticed a growing frequency of players using foul language and profanity by hiding it in caps lock, or using close-sounding words to bypass the limits. My son often watches me play and has picked up on a LOT of these phrases and comments. I hate having to make excuses and reasons for players who "say bad words" and do things that are "mean and rude". I often report players who I catch doing this and being obnixious. The other day I reported someone who made another snide comment and stated they had already been reported several times that same day already.

I am unfamiliar with the consequences of reporting. Is there any log of players conversation that can be reviewed if they are reported? Something in the server that can be pulled up? Is there a number of times before something happens? I would love to know if there is any resolution or if the act of reporting is a placebo designed to make the reportER feel better about the issue.

Moderator
When you report someone, or you are reported, a message is sent directly to Mr Lincoln that includes the chat logs of everything that was said before and after that report.

Mr Lincoln then reads the log and assess the situation. He determines how bad the offense was, looks up prior offenses for the reported individual, and based on that assessment he issues sanctions such as muting or banning and sends an email to the offending account explaining the violation and the sanctions.

If the report was falsely made, that is determined as well, and the player who made the false report is investigated as to whether or not they have made previous false reports. False reports are just a egregious as valid ones, and similar sanctions can be levied against repeat offenders of false reporting.

Everything that a player enters into the chat window is logged. These larger chat logs are also routinely checked for those infractions that are not reported.

What is Considered a Reportable Offense?
We appreciate that our players want to make Wizard City the best it can be, and we've placed the tools in your hand to report players for inappropriate behavior. We ask that you use the reporting feature to identify truly egregious behavior, such as creative profanity (swearing around the filters), solicitation of usernames/passwords, predatory threats, racist comments and other such actions as outlined in the Terms of Use. The old story of “the kid that cried wolf” has a lot of bearing in this situation and we trust that all reports received by players are valid and require support intervention.

What is NOT considered a Reportable Offense?
Because false reporting can be construed and/or used as harassment of other players, we’d like to take a moment to ensure you are aware of what does NOT fall under the category of a reportable offense:

“S/he falsely reported me” or reporting someone for false reporting (2 wrongs don’t make a right)

“Being rude” (We’re sorry, we can’t enforce good manners. Use the ignore button liberally &/or change realms. It’s wholly up to you to choose to stay around someone that’s not nice to you.)

“Chain Stunning” (admittedly, it’s not much fun for the receiving team, but it’s not a violation of the game rules).

“Scamming” (KingsIsle will NEVER ask for treasure card(s) in exchange for a code. Trading “cards for codes” is done at the players’ own risk. Codes are either fully public or one time use)

“Spamming” (Although the Terms of Use mention spamming, it’s related to email/web posts. Yeah, it’s annoying in game and never of profound statement. Refer to “Being Rude”).

If you want the prize, you have to build the ladder rung by rung. There are no shortcuts.
Defender
Sep 11, 2010
154
Vanguard, I too have young children with me on this site - but make no excuses for the poor behavior becoming more prevalent here. The world is full of social misfits. We don't see as many of them because of the physical ramifications such behavior draws. The internet draws these weaklings because there are no physical ramifications. They are empowered by the fact no one can take action against their behavior.

In real life, somebody would have beat the feces out of them LONG ago.

Mr. Lincoln ... cannot be expected to address a workload that has grown to FIFTEEN million players. Using local law enforcement staffing ratios of 1-1.5 per cent of the total population served as a guideline ...

IF ... there were 150,000 "Mr. Lincoln's" employed at KI, ...
we MIGHT take action on @20% of the "incidents" reported.

I said "reported", not "occurred". There are far, far too many "incidents" going unreported and their existence slowly poisons everyone around them.

I am not interested in "muting" anybody.
I am not interested in "sanctioning" anybody.

I am interested in REMOVING 30% of the accounts from this game.

I am interested enough to PAY more to play. I might balk at a full 30% increase in subscription fees, but I WOULD try it, based on the deletion of 5,000,000 mal-contents and vandals from The Spiral. A 10-15% increase, splitting the difference between my pocket book and KI's profit line, no balking at all. Do it.

I am interested in doing the removal "automatically", untouched by human hands. There is only one action this automated process is allowed to take.

Remove the ability to login.

Let people who have been flagged as "undesireable" via the screening process petition Mr. Lincoln for re-admittance. It is a far better use of his time and actually gives him SOME hope of "success" at his job.

No one EVER said enjoying the benefits of an on-line community should be "effortless". If they REALLY want to play, they will take the steps necessary AND LEARN to behave as "the community" expects.

The details of the screening process need STRICT analysis and design, not a topic for THIS post. But once in place, unacceptable behavior will simply stop. The punishment is real, immediate, time consuming to correct, and financially "discouraging".

AOL did not address this problem.
YAHOO! did not address this problem.
MySpace did not address this problem.
Facebook did not address this problem.

Their reputation and their business has suffered for it.

If WE address this problem, the automatic REMOVAL of those who misbehave according to the community's standards, our business will NOT suffer for it.

It will GROW.

Mastermind
Sep 11, 2010
369
Unfortunately, there will ALWAYS be people who have bad language. It is simply impossible to avoid anyone cursing (you might as well try flying by flapping your arms around and cooing) - if you turn on any news sections on the TV, or just look at any book, you'll find that people do curse a lot.

Wizard101 is already doing a tremendous job as it is, by providing multiple filters for people - and even Open Chat players are still a little limited in what they can say (there's an amazing amount of words that are on the redlist; most of the more rude words are on this list). But, some people see that as a "challenge" and will do everything they can to talk around the filter by using eupheumisms and synonyms.

Attempting to fully remove everyone who might many anything that could be interpreted as a swear would result in the game dying. ("Why was my account banned when I talked about wanting to flipping a yard bird on its back?")

The best and only thing to do is to report those who are engaging in seriously excessive swearing, and then Ignoring the rest.

Because, let's face it... The only other alternative is that Kingsisle would remove ALL kinds of communication between players, and not even allow us to communicate in pre-decided pictograms... Or that they put ALL of their manpower into removing those who might not have a language befitting a nunnery, with the result that the game would recieve no updates; there'd be no help with those who have billing issues; no help for those who have characters that get stuck in free-fall with no method of porting to safety; no updates to the game...

So the question is: Can you really clean EVERY SINGLE word stated so that it has no bad or naughty connections at all, despite how normal people talk in the normal, everyday society? The answer is, of course, no.

If your child truly picks up a lot of "bad words" from Wizard101, I would hate to see what they would discover from a game that doesn't have such a heavy chat-filter - or from school, for that matter... And instead of asking for a game to be so heavily moderated that it just isn't fun, teach your children what words and phrases are bad - and, please oh please, do yourself the favour of explaining WHY! (else, it becomes yet another case where your child will think that it is interesting why you hate a word, and will use it in every occasion it can find).

So, in short: Report the heavy swearers, ignore the mild ones, and stay out of Wizard City Commons. Or just change your own chat settings to Menu.

Defender
Sep 11, 2010
154
I do not support red-lists or moderation of any kind. Sorry if I was unclear.

I support removing people from the environment that 75% of the "paying" community find - "objectionable" and those 51% of the community do NOT want around their children. You don't get this accomplished with "red-lists". You get this accomplished by establishing general rules of conduct and enforcing them. A sample rule?

"If you cannot behave yourself while in the company of elementary school children ... leave, or we will REMOVE you."

There is no way to prevent any word in our language from being used in an "obscene" manner ... content, conotation, nuances, enable far too many permutations to expect existing AI software to interpret and supervise its use. It is certainly true MOST people use profanity. I happen to be one of them. The environment I worked in practically required it if you wanted people to understand and MOVE quickly.

But I do NOT use this language when children are present ... and The Spiral is nothing more than an elementary school yard ... we would not tolerate the use of certain language and subject matter there ... nor should we tolerate it here. If you cannot behave yourself in the presence of children you should get the same treatment HERE you would expect to get in any other public setting where impressionable minors are present.

You should be physically .... REMOVED.

Profanity and subject matter are NOT the only "behaviors" the "reporting" system needs to address. The OP asked for what the "reporting" system actually does. My response to him was "not enough". KI has done more than ANY other provider I know. I am here because of it. My family is here because of it. I am deeply appreciative of EVERYTHING they have done.

But it is NOT enough. Not yet.

What the AI software CAN do is identify those individuals whose behavior has disrupted the game play of say 10-15 unrelated individuals causing them to stop playing long enough to endure the unwanted process of reporting a complaint. The exact number would have to come from Mr. Lincoln's staff, but I expect removing accounts will soon allow them to LOWER that 10-15 target to 5-6 before too long. Someday, 3 strikes and you are out, is a possible goal, and a reasonabl one.

Having an individual brag and respond to being reported by saying "Flock you! I have already been reported several times today." is evidence enough to remove that account. One instance is enough for me. And this individual has demonstrated beyond doubt that there are NO redeeming features to his/her social presence here. Community game playing is NOT something he/she wishes to do ... so REMOVE the account. Bye.

The AI btw, should flag EVERY friend this obnoxious little person has and monitor them for further scrutiny. They run in packs. Quickest way to find rotten apples is dump out the barrel when you find one. The wormy ones actually prefer the dark.

Preventing children from seeing or hearing bad things does NOT train them to deal with it as they become adults. The earlier you can get them to understand that "bad" aspects of society exist, the better prepared they will be when you are not around to protect them.

What we are teaching them on this site now, despite our best efforts, is that behaving badly is only bad if you get caught. Life teaches us that this is - unfortunately ... true. What needs to be done ... is catch more, and show these children there ARE consequences to poor behavior, INCLUDING the internet.

I am not for moderating anybody. Take the red list OFF for all I care.

But AUTOMATE the account removal process so that people can immediately see that alienating people in a community gaming environment is NOT ... acceptable. Personally, it is a virtual character, of value only in a virtual world. When an account is removed, slap some baby diapers on the 'toon, wherever it is, and immobilize them except for sucking their thumbs.

THAT ought to give the ACLU some giggles. lmho.

MORE people would take the time to report objectionable behavior if there was an IMMEDIATE feedback ... oh look! I was the "nth" guy needed to REMOVE that ... person! KEWWWWWWLLLLLL.

I am NOT for "ignoring" it anymore. I am NOT for "leaving it to them" because it is just too hard to do anything about it. Nothing is too hard if the right software is found.

Mastermind
Sep 11, 2010
369
I don't want to start a massive argument, but I want to point to my previous argument of how it would be a near-impossible task of monitoring the more than 10 million accounts on Wizard101. Especially as reporting can be done by many people, and I have before seen others try to "bully" someone by repeatedly reporting them and encouraging their friends to report someone - for something as ridiculous as winning a PVP duel.

Context is always important. Do you want to remove everyone who says "flock you", even if they were actually commenting "that's a huge flock you got." when someone proudly shows off their collection of icebirds? Can the machine software grasp that kind of context, or will it ruthlessly ban innocent people - causing Wizard101 to gain a nasty reputation and as a result lose its customers?

Should you just ban people who use red-listed words, completely undiscriminately? "My word, that person said "Cumulative"!! That word is not allowed, BAN THEM!" Again, as before, this would drive off paying customers who otherwise enjoy the game (I'd personally be one of those who'd run off screaming).

Where is the limit between a "mild" swear and a "strong" swear? Are my frequently-used "dang it" and "to heck with it" bad enough that they should cause me to be banned? What about those who are not even consciously aware that they are swearing, as that is simply just how the language around them IS? (you might as well try to tell people to stop, say, having an accent).

And then, of course, there is the manpower required. Kingsisle does make an awesome game, but do we really want to end up with a game where we're charged $200 a MONTH in subscriptions, just so they can keep their 150,000 moderators employed and still be able to pull in enough money to keep paying for the programmers, designers and 3D artists that are behind the updates to the game?

Children are indeed very impressionable, and will often adapt words and phrases they hear from others - I have personally managed to drive one friend up the walls by having her son adapt my "Indeed" to replace an otherwise dull "Yeah".

However...

You, yourself, referenced a schoolyard, and how we should monitor the language we use in front of children. And yet, you point out that this is a game largely inhabited by children. The issue, frankly, is not so much how the adults talk - it is how the children talk to each other.

Now picture this scenario:
Your child(ren) are playing the game, and they have, today, in the schoolyard, heard an awesome new word from their classmates. Because the awesome new word is so very awesome, they want to use it to show their friends just how awesome and cool the new word is. They use the word, and BAM, they get banned because the awesome word was, in fact, a hard swear they had never before been exposed to.

That is the case that you most often meet. The people who indulge in hard swears and filter-talking in the Commons are young children, not adults. Most adults in Wizard101 are too busy having fun elsewhere, and if they ARE in the Commons, they are usually the ones telling the filter-talkers to mind their language.

So the question is: How can we monitor and filter the CHILDREN'S language, without accidentally teaching them bad words in return? Or for that matter, causing parents to throw complete hissy fits at how their children cannot have the complete freedom that many older players do?

If you do not want your child exposed to bad language, then use the tools Wizard101 has already given you. Enable Menu Chat Only, and your child will not be able to see what others write, but only be able to communicate through the perfectly safe Menu Chat system.

As the saying goes: You cannot have your cake and eat it at the same time. You cannot let your children have full and free roam of the game - ANY game - and still avoid having them exposed to any kind of language.

It is in childrens' nature to seek out borders and test them. Swearing is just one of such borders.

There are already rules in place for Wizard101, but enforcing them is a different matter. Speeding is illegal in most of the world, but it is difficult to prevent EVERYONE from speeding, and thus you have to make do with capturing those you can. If others report that they see speeding people, then you improve how many people you can fine for speeding.

In the same way, it's limited how many people Mr. Lincoln can find on his own, even if he has a large team of people to help. Instead, we 10 million players have the option of helping - by reporting when we see someone swearing. That way, Mr. Lincoln won't have a staff of 150,000 helpers. He'll have a staff of 10,000,000 helpers. And we're, frankly, much more efficient at picking up the context in an area.

Defender
Aug 15, 2009
164
alex321694 are you suggesting that malcontents are persons of low income and that to raise the fees would eliminate them? Seriously, malcontents come from ALL walks of life and yes includes adults who some behave worse than most kids on the game.
Maybe slapping a fine of crowns for violators might work but the question is can KI do that?
Banning accounts wouldnt really work because they would make another account and be enabled to do the same thing.
the current system seems to work, I have known a few get muted and when they were unmuted really changed their attitudes, at least for a good while. Muting seems to be the best punishment for violators. Its too bad there are some who are muted that are really great players, but that is a different topic.
Basically, Muting does work, but given the vast number of people that "seem" to get by with things its kinda hard to see that.

Historian
May 01, 2010
665
um do you even know how many reports there are in a second?!?!?! think about it. 5,000,000 people i would say about a hundred reports a second, unless you can go on there and immediately replay to every single one, dont be whining on the message boards, you know if you dont want your kid exposed dont let him play, if you ever hear him use bad words, make a punishment! keep enforcing and he will get out of it

Delver
Jun 30, 2009
275
Well. Good, my friend got threatened. This player has Open Chat, and not to mention he's about 11. I was in the PVP arena, and my friend came to me to watch me and the other player said a rude remark and I defended my friend, and his friend got into a quarrel with one of my friends. I told him to calm down, and its just a game. Then the opponents friend simply said " I can kill you." I told him he shouldn't say that. He said. "I can kill you." So, my friend was like "that's a threat." Basically, we both reported him, he then tried to relatate and say "I can report you for being mean to me." I told him, "go right ahead, I will gladly let you report me without a smirk on my face." The thing is, I think toleration of "threats" whether its Bullying, Taunting, or threatening to kill someone else should be taken into a huge matter, he was rude and he cheats, and he threatens. And then he had the audacity to say "Well, they won't ban me because I am a paying player." I said, "Excuse you? So, if I walk up to a Free to Play player and simply pick a fight and the fight back, they get banned but not me?"

Survivor
Aug 10, 2009
14
Both of you have extreme true statements but as Bookshelvings said their will always be rude behavior always one rotten apple in the barrel but yes alex321694 I do think they should be banned like 3 strikes and out. Although adding the 3 strikes out would create how can i say... um well fear in the game. So like your minding your own business some person come up and makes you mad and well you insult or use mis language and you get yourself in trouble so now you have 2 more strikes and bye bye. This will make the community reach what mooshu maybe dragonspyre before finding someone who's going to make you lose your temper and banned yourself in a sense. Its human nature to insult, mis language, curse someone out in todays society. I as in middle school still (last year) seen it from 3 and 4 grade humans have that instinct to do it. Its hard for someone to keep their temper check every sec, min, hour, day, week, month, year, etc. As I do it at school its not easy but over time it becomes a habit and i get used not to say such words. Unfortunately parents don't "Force" enough strictness on the language.

Back to the ideas-
Alex-
Removing accounts- meaning loss of money for KI. I know KI is trying to make this a safe game but remember it is a company and it doesn't want to go out of business or loss a huge percentage of money (range is 25% and higher). They are a company first then game. Unless they are truly misfits they won't be banned so that way KI wont loss so much money.

Raising the amount of pay on a subscription- as much as they would love to raise the amount on the game they are smart and not raising the prices for. They would lose players (complains saying they raised the price I cant afford the game anymore). KI would be letting be letting the money walk out the door. Also more reasons but mainly the raising the price isn't good.

Losing players while raising prices- Ok I ask you this for an example the electric bill well 30% of your community left and the electric company is now making less money they want to make the same money before those 30% left. Now they will increase the cost for the amount you use now wouldn't you be mad? Just cause some left increase the bill to make the same money obviously, no. Although this is a game and players can just leave and lose money like that also. That would just leave I guess crown players and rich players that CAN and WILL pay the extra money.

Remove the ability to log in- Now this I agree people must agree to sign the player back into the game and if the player gives up and just says (sorry if it seems mis language) "forget this I got better things to do then play this stupid game." Then the player was just a waste of time and was taking up space. If they really wish to return to the game then they will be on probation (I say a year would reasonable just to be 100% sure) They get 2 strikes mess up both and the account is banned.

Strict- Yes a strict analysis would be a required part of the game. I shouldn't see any arguments against this.

Removal not suffer instead grow- Well the business will suffer financially their is no hiding that important facts no make how much you try. The removal will of players will be told around players saying to all those who do and will, or don't play the game and how strict the game will be if, or do play. So really it would at a maximum amount of players playing the game and it wont be 15,000,000 for another 2 years at least.

Bookshelvings-
People always bad language- Yes I agree completely their will be always someone with bad language but the thing is that if should acknowledge his language into our everyday vocabulary then that's the problem.

Tremendous job in multiple filters- Yes there are a lot of the red list, but yes their are those people that find another way around the filters like for example (apologizes for the bad language) instead of say bitch they say bi see a shorter and faster way and these words. They are also say similar to English words say today like bi and bye their isn't much of a difference anymore I'm scared of these words replacing the soon to me old English (modern English).

Cutting communications- Cutting all communication or at least open and filter would be horrible. That would only leave menu and and as everyone sees their is no one that's likes to use it. That would really cut off 75% of communications at least. Not a very good thing happen to KI lose players and money.

Teach your kids- Parents needs to extremely FORCE and be extremely more STRICTER with the kids using those kinds of words. Really its up to the parents to teach their children to be watch their language online as well as real life.

I'm sorry but I need to go I will post about Alex 2nd comment later on.

Survivor
Apr 03, 2010
45
alex321694 wrote:
Vanguard, I too have young children with me on this site - but make no excuses for the poor behavior becoming more prevalent here. The world is full of social misfits. We don't see as many of them because of the physical ramifications such behavior draws. The internet draws these weaklings because there are no physical ramifications. They are empowered by the fact no one can take action against their behavior.

In real life, somebody would have beat the feces out of them LONG ago.

Mr. Lincoln ... cannot be expected to address a workload that has grown to FIFTEEN million players. Using local law enforcement staffing ratios of 1-1.5 per cent of the total population served as a guideline ...

IF ... there were 150,000 "Mr. Lincoln's" employed at KI, ...
we MIGHT take action on @20% of the "incidents" reported.

I said "reported", not "occurred". There are far, far too many "incidents" going unreported and their existence slowly poisons everyone around them.

I am not interested in "muting" anybody.
I am not interested in "sanctioning" anybody.

I am interested in REMOVING 30% of the accounts from this game.

I am interested enough to PAY more to play. I might balk at a full 30% increase in subscription fees, but I WOULD try it, based on the deletion of 5,000,000 mal-contents and vandals from The Spiral. A 10-15% increase, splitting the difference between my pocket book and KI's profit line, no balking at all. Do it.

I am interested in doing the removal "automatically", untouched by human hands. There is only one action this automated process is allowed to take.

Remove the ability to login.

Let people who have been flagged as "undesireable" via the screening process petition Mr. Lincoln for re-admittance. It is a far better use of his time and actually gives him SOME hope of "success" at his job.

No one EVER said enjoying the benefits of an on-line community should be "effortless". If they REALLY want to play, they will take the steps necessary AND LEARN to behave as "the community" expects.

The details of the screening process need STRICT analysis and design, not a topic for THIS post. But once in place, unacceptable behavior will simply stop. The punishment is real, immediate, time consuming to correct, and financially "discouraging".

AOL did not address this problem.
YAHOO! did not address this problem.
MySpace did not address this problem.
Facebook did not address this problem.

Their reputation and their business has suffered for it.

If WE address this problem, the automatic REMOVAL of those who misbehave according to the community's standards, our business will NOT suffer for it.

It will GROW.


Man that was a LONG speech. Automatic huh? Automatic gets you a ticket in the mail for someone else speeding past a camera that snaps a picture. You weren't driving but you have to pay. I don't like machines on phones!