Welcome to the Wizard101 Message Boards


Player Guide
Fansites
News
Game Updates
Help

Follow important game updates on Twitter @Wizard101 and @KI_Alerts, and Facebook!

For all account questions and concerns, contact Customer Support.

By posting on the Wizard101 Message Boards you agree to the Code of Conduct.

Kingsisle's reporting system is in need of improvement.

AuthorMessage
Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
975
Wzard101, as I am sure some of you know, has a bit of a cyberbullying problem. This, for the most part, is limited to bullies harassing others in the commons, but occasionally the offenses get a bit more severe. Dealing with this, of course, is allotted to the Reporting system, the key feature that allows us to send reports about offenders and stop them from harassing others. If any of you don't know how it works, a thread by Prospector Zeke talks about it somewhere on these forums.

Disturbingly, though, I have heard of bullies coming back even when they were never supposed to, and circumventing Kingsisle's attempts to remove them and let us commune in peace. Giving Kingsisle's reporting system an analysis, I have recognized some areas that could be built upon to further improve the security of this game. I would like to highlight two issues that disturb me most, and then make some suggestions on how reporting can potentially be improved. Please note that I will have to be vague in some areas in order for this to pass moderation. I would encourage critical thinking on this subject and would love to see other opinions.

The problems & their solutions:

As I said, there are two issues that I am primarily concerned about and wish to see an end to. These are two tactics by bullies that I have seen reported on these forums by others previously. One of them circumvents Kingsisle's attempts to block them, and another is capable of abusing the reporting system itself.

The first problem is something that I will refer to as 'user jumping.' This will require a bit of explanation. When Kingsisle takes action against an individual, they can go as far as blocking their individual accounts. However, this is a bit more difficult if a person has multiple accounts. Some bullies have taken advantage of this, and use multiple accounts to 'user jump' to antagonize others for prolonged periods of time.

User jumping can be resolved by extending the ability to block someone, A good method would likely be extending bans to a user's IP address, so they would be unable to get into the game even if they tried from different accounts.

The second problem will also need some explanation. When a report is sent, all relevant information is sent to the Kingsisle team for further action. However, it is also possible for the reporting algorithm to take action directly by muting individuals. Without getting into too much detail, bullies can abuse this system by false reporting an innocent individual enough times to get them muted.

While this is obviously very disturbing, there is fortunately a simple fix; remove the system's ability to take action on its own. This alone should be enough to stop this completely.

It's getting late where I am when I'm typing this, so I'll cut off here for now. However, I have much more I would like to talk about soon. Again, I would love to see other's opinions on this topic.

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
975
I would like to mention some other concepts that I have in my minds that could be relatively simple to implement, and effective at stopping violators from staying in the game.

Rattlebones has dominion over your Text Chat. I know, this sounds a bit funny and strange, but hear me out. This idea is designed more to inconvenience bullies that use the "user jumping" tactic I mentioned to try to set up accounts specifically for trolling, at little cost to the rest of the playerbase. But, if my brother who suggested this is to be believed, inconvenience is just as powerful a weapon as routing offenders out.

The basics of this idea are that all accounts, regardless of their chat settings or prior permission, are unable to access Text or Open Chat until they defeat Rattlebones for the first time. (Menu Chat will still be available.) After Unicorn Way is completed, any and all chatting privileges will be unlocked, and players will receive the usual message from Professor Lincoln explaining how chat works.

The Wizard101 launcher itself could be closed to the most severe of offenders. This concept is directed straight at the worst offenders. My thoughts are that even if bans involving a user's IP address are seriously considered and used, bullies with the right material could still sneak in by using a VPN service to change their IP. This thought is specifically designed to counter just that, while still being able to be used elsewhere to great effect.

This idea involved programming the Wizard101 Launcher to have a 'self destruct code' that can be remotely activated by Kingsisle's Customer Support (or whatever deals with player reports). This can be sent based upon a user's current IP address, or possible some other unique form of device identification. Once this code is activated, it completely disables an offender's ability to log into Wizard101, with the username and password bars as well as the log in button being completely removed. Instead, a message along the lines of "This device has been blocked from playing Wizard101. Contact Customer Support for more details." would be displayed.

If ever a launcher shutdown needs to be reversed, another code could be used to give a user access to the launcher again.

Survivor
Jun 06, 2017
31
You are correct, the system does need improvements. I am going to address your points as they have been written and add my personal opinions and thoughts as I go.

1.) User/Account-Jumping

I do not have much to add to what you have already stated. If players are making multiple accounts only to use them for harassing and bullying other players, it, in my eyes, is completely justified to revoke their privilege of accessing the game from that particular IP address. Of course, this only works to an extent. An individual could potentially change devices and this starts the process all over again. Individuals who utilize VPNs would be impossible to regulate as you would never be able to permanently remove their access to the game. This in particular might be why we do not see these extra steps being taken as it would not provide as large an impact as we might hope.

2.) Automated Action and Punishments

This one is a little more tricky to dissect. I believe that the system should be able to take action on its own. This might seem controversial at first, but I do think that it is almost a necessity. There are far more individuals playing the game than there are moderating it. This means that if every single report filed had to be reviewed by a person who had the authority to determine the appropriate course of action, there would inevitably be an extended backlog of reports waiting to be reviewed and punishments may not be filed against a user for days, weeks, months, or even longer. However, I think with the way the system currently functions, it should not be capable of making its own decisions.

A way to improve upon the system is to, instead of writing your own, extraordinarily brief synopsis of the events that occurred or transpired, have a list of selectable offenses that can be picked to describe situation. These options could include, but are not limited to: Verbal Abuse, for offenses that involve targeted harassment toward a person or group of people in a way that is overly-aggressive and violent; Discrimination, for offenses that involve harassment on the basis of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., among other potential options to select.

Do not misinterpret the Verbal Abuse option as a way to remove people who are just angry. People should be allowed to be upset and harsh or otherwise severe punishments should not be given to those who are simply having a bad day. This is why the system can be improved in another way as well. If a particular player has been reported a certain number of times for the same violations over a certain timeframe, the system can decide, on its own, to temporarily remove their Open and Text Chat options until someone can review the reports.

3.) Rattlebones has dominion over your Text Chat

I love it. However, I fear that this is too easily exploited. I think in order for this to work relatively effectively, there must be a stricter goal to reach. For example, if the chat was restricted until level 15, instead of the completion of Unicorn Way, it would be far more likely to achieve what it is supposed to be--an inconvenience. I know from experience that reaching level 15 without purchasing a membership, or areas with crowns, comes with quite an exorbitant number of defeated Field Guards, Harvest Lords, and Krakens. This would, in turn, drain the money or sanity or both from those that would try to exploit the system for their own, perverted purposes rather than the enjoyment of experiencing, playing, and communicating with others within the game.

4.) The Wizard101 Launcher itself could be closed to the Most Severe of Offenders

I think this is more an extension of the first point rather than its own. That being said, the same problems arise with this suggestion as with an IP ban. If this is not used alongside an IP ban, the "self-destruct code" could simply be circumvented via removing all files related to Wizard101 from device before downloading the game again. Without having some form of identification to determine when a particular player is attempting to access the game, it would be impossible to completely restrict them. The game would not be installed already disabled. If the IP address is the identification to determine the state of the launcher then VPNs are once again the kryptonite to our metaphorical Superman.

Overall, I think what you are trying to accomplish with this post is certainly worthwhile. I do hope that Kingsisle considers what options they have to improve the system and make it more dependable in the future.

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
975
Gabriel Storm on Jan 10, 2021 wrote:
You are correct, the system does need improvements. I am going to address your points as they have been written and add my personal opinions and thoughts as I go.

1.) User/Account-Jumping

I do not have much to add to what you have already stated. If players are making multiple accounts only to use them for harassing and bullying other players, it, in my eyes, is completely justified to revoke their privilege of accessing the game from that particular IP address. Of course, this only works to an extent. An individual could potentially change devices and this starts the process all over again. Individuals who utilize VPNs would be impossible to regulate as you would never be able to permanently remove their access to the game. This in particular might be why we do not see these extra steps being taken as it would not provide as large an impact as we might hope.

2.) Automated Action and Punishments

This one is a little more tricky to dissect. I believe that the system should be able to take action on its own. This might seem controversial at first, but I do think that it is almost a necessity. There are far more individuals playing the game than there are moderating it. This means that if every single report filed had to be reviewed by a person who had the authority to determine the appropriate course of action, there would inevitably be an extended backlog of reports waiting to be reviewed and punishments may not be filed against a user for days, weeks, months, or even longer. However, I think with the way the system currently functions, it should not be capable of making its own decisions.

A way to improve upon the system is to, instead of writing your own, extraordinarily brief synopsis of the events that occurred or transpired, have a list of selectable offenses that can be picked to describe situation. These options could include, but are not limited to: Verbal Abuse, for offenses that involve targeted harassment toward a person or group of people in a way that is overly-aggressive and violent; Discrimination, for offenses that involve harassment on the basis of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., among other potential options to select.

Do not misinterpret the Verbal Abuse option as a way to remove people who are just angry. People should be allowed to be upset and harsh or otherwise severe punishments should not be given to those who are simply having a bad day. This is why the system can be improved in another way as well. If a particular player has been reported a certain number of times for the same violations over a certain timeframe, the system can decide, on its own, to temporarily remove their Open and Text Chat options until someone can review the reports.

3.) Rattlebones has dominion over your Text Chat

I love it. However, I fear that this is too easily exploited. I think in order for this to work relatively effectively, there must be a stricter goal to reach. For example, if the chat was restricted until level 15, instead of the completion of Unicorn Way, it would be far more likely to achieve what it is supposed to be--an inconvenience. I know from experience that reaching level 15 without purchasing a membership, or areas with crowns, comes with quite an exorbitant number of defeated Field Guards, Harvest Lords, and Krakens. This would, in turn, drain the money or sanity or both from those that would try to exploit the system for their own, perverted purposes rather than the enjoyment of experiencing, playing, and communicating with others within the game.

4.) The Wizard101 Launcher itself could be closed to the Most Severe of Offenders

I think this is more an extension of the first point rather than its own. That being said, the same problems arise with this suggestion as with an IP ban. If this is not used alongside an IP ban, the "self-destruct code" could simply be circumvented via removing all files related to Wizard101 from device before downloading the game again. Without having some form of identification to determine when a particular player is attempting to access the game, it would be impossible to completely restrict them. The game would not be installed already disabled. If the IP address is the identification to determine the state of the launcher then VPNs are once again the kryptonite to our metaphorical Superman.

Overall, I think what you are trying to accomplish with this post is certainly worthwhile. I do hope that Kingsisle considers what options they have to improve the system and make it more dependable in the future.
I appreciate your insight. I will acknowledge that the autonomous ability by the system to take action against offenders is useful. However, it still leaves room for the system to be abused by offenders. I'm not deeply insightful on the exact particulars of how the system makes decisions (coding isn't really my thing), but I really like your ideas on making reporting easier and more effective.

I do hope Kingsisle is paying attention. My concern when writing this is for the younger and newer players of Wizard101. This is an all-ages game, which means that a very good number of children are playing the game. If they come across bullies in the Commons that make them or their parents want to leave the game, Kingsisle could actually lose some income, considering that they could have desired a membership to continue playing otherwise.

Therefore, it could not only helpful to the community and a chance to expand the playerbase, it could actually beprofitable for Kingsisle to improve and strengthen their system to keep out offenders. By upgrading their anti-bullying measures, they could keep players that might otherwise be dissuaded from playing by the presence of these bullies. And it's about time for the actions Kingsisle can take to be improved upon regardless; to my knowledge, the system hasn't changed too much in 12 years of this game's existence, and the worst offenders have likely managed to weave their way around them.

You are correct in that it is extremely difficult to keep out players with access to a VPN, and that was one of my concerns as well. I haven't thought of a way to truly keep offenders out; my suggestion with the launcher was the closest I could get. If anyone else has any suggestions, it would be delightful to hear them.

Administrator
We are listening! I haven't had our team respond just yet as I want to give you all time to generate a discussion about the reporting system. We'd love to hear from as many Wizards as possible what you find useful about the system as well as what may need improvement.

Thanks!

Astrologist
Mar 16, 2012
1058
Lookit Light on Jan 6, 2021 wrote:
Wzard101, as I am sure some of you know, has a bit of a cyberbullying problem. This, for the most part, is limited to bullies harassing others in the commons, but occasionally the offenses get a bit more severe. Dealing with this, of course, is allotted to the Reporting system, the key feature that allows us to send reports about offenders and stop them from harassing others. If any of you don't know how it works, a thread by Prospector Zeke talks about it somewhere on these forums.

Disturbingly, though, I have heard of bullies coming back even when they were never supposed to, and circumventing Kingsisle's attempts to remove them and let us commune in peace. Giving Kingsisle's reporting system an analysis, I have recognized some areas that could be built upon to further improve the security of this game. I would like to highlight two issues that disturb me most, and then make some suggestions on how reporting can potentially be improved. Please note that I will have to be vague in some areas in order for this to pass moderation. I would encourage critical thinking on this subject and would love to see other opinions.

The problems & their solutions:

As I said, there are two issues that I am primarily concerned about and wish to see an end to. These are two tactics by bullies that I have seen reported on these forums by others previously. One of them circumvents Kingsisle's attempts to block them, and another is capable of abusing the reporting system itself.

The first problem is something that I will refer to as 'user jumping.' This will require a bit of explanation. When Kingsisle takes action against an individual, they can go as far as blocking their individual accounts. However, this is a bit more difficult if a person has multiple accounts. Some bullies have taken advantage of this, and use multiple accounts to 'user jump' to antagonize others for prolonged periods of time.

User jumping can be resolved by extending the ability to block someone, A good method would likely be extending bans to a user's IP address, so they would be unable to get into the game even if they tried from different accounts.

The second problem will also need some explanation. When a report is sent, all relevant information is sent to the Kingsisle team for further action. However, it is also possible for the reporting algorithm to take action directly by muting individuals. Without getting into too much detail, bullies can abuse this system by false reporting an innocent individual enough times to get them muted.

While this is obviously very disturbing, there is fortunately a simple fix; remove the system's ability to take action on its own. This alone should be enough to stop this completely.

It's getting late where I am when I'm typing this, so I'll cut off here for now. However, I have much more I would like to talk about soon. Again, I would love to see other's opinions on this topic.
Very good points, however, I see a problem with your solution to "user jumping". You're assuming that these bullies are the only one using that computer. This may be the case in many households that everyone has a single computer for their sole use.
But what about households that share only one or two computer? Must the innocent be punished along with the guilty?

Defender
Mar 31, 2015
183
I mostly agree with the general concepts stated by OP, but I have to post obligatory warnings about some of the issues raised. Many ISPs assign shared IP blocs for a particular area or region, and have sub-domains allocated to users within that region.

Additionally, as has already been said, this will not stop dedicated trolls that have VPNs which would render IP banning irrelevant.

A better way would be to ban the user on file as shown as paying for membership on the account, although this too can be circumvented by using prepaid cards or using someone else's card details, or if the person simply didn't bother adding membership.

Furthermore, I simply don't agree with banning people that have spent real money on the game for mere words, no matter what was said. I can't imagine any reason why a 10 year permanent mute wouldn't be sufficient for any kind of verbal offense in the worst of cases, where they're forced to use Menu Chat the entire time. You're basically incentivising players to play on a different unbanned account where they will continue to troll but this time be much more slippery and harder to deal with.

Also it would be very nice, for 18+ users, to have a truly open chat that is not visible at all to players that are not verified as being over 18.

In much the same way Main vs Group chat works, it could be an additional tab. Maybe add user channels too. But I digress.

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
975
Exabytes on Jan 12, 2021 wrote:
I mostly agree with the general concepts stated by OP, but I have to post obligatory warnings about some of the issues raised. Many ISPs assign shared IP blocs for a particular area or region, and have sub-domains allocated to users within that region.

Additionally, as has already been said, this will not stop dedicated trolls that have VPNs which would render IP banning irrelevant.

A better way would be to ban the user on file as shown as paying for membership on the account, although this too can be circumvented by using prepaid cards or using someone else's card details, or if the person simply didn't bother adding membership.

Furthermore, I simply don't agree with banning people that have spent real money on the game for mere words, no matter what was said. I can't imagine any reason why a 10 year permanent mute wouldn't be sufficient for any kind of verbal offense in the worst of cases, where they're forced to use Menu Chat the entire time. You're basically incentivising players to play on a different unbanned account where they will continue to troll but this time be much more slippery and harder to deal with.

Also it would be very nice, for 18+ users, to have a truly open chat that is not visible at all to players that are not verified as being over 18.

In much the same way Main vs Group chat works, it could be an additional tab. Maybe add user channels too. But I digress.
You raise some good points. However, I must disagree with your viewpoints on banning others. Words have meaning, and if those words are meant to harm or belittle others, then action should be taken. If someone says something hateful, homophobic, or otherwise discriminatory, it is not only justified, but paramount to deliver appropriate consequences, to ensure a safe environment for players of all ages and backgrounds. Any previous payment they have made to the game is irrelevant; should they commit an offense, that should not influence the punishment that they receive.

You are absolutely correct in that players who jump between accounts specifically to troll others are a problem. That is one of the purposes I intended when making this thread; debating among the community effective ways to solve this problem and others. And I must say, your suggestion isn't a bad thought either.

Regarding Anecorbie's concerns about multi-family accounts, this is indeed a bit of a tricky area. If a certain person on an account shared by a family commits an offense, my belief is that punishments should come regardless. Let's be honest, Kingsisle has little way of knowing for sure that an account is being used by multiple people. But this isn't to say that those consequences should affect everyone in that household; the family can write to Kingsisle's Customer Support explaining the situation and request a second chance. But you are correct in that there is no real way to fix that in particular; the actions of a specific individual in a multi-person account are very difficult to deal with.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
About the "truly open chat" maybe there could be a coupe of realms that with parent permission you can access that that you can type anything including numbers, you can limit the maximum amount of number in a row is 5 and you have to type 2 texts without numbers before you can write them because I think people are underestimating what kids starting at 8 or 9 know, they know what a phone number is, they know what hackers are, they know a good amount of curse words, they know they should not share personal information and just in case you can add a warning before you go into one of these "almost free for all chat" realms, about what will happen if you share to much personal information and what will happen if you curse at a high tempered adult that is typing weird stuff in the chat and then give them there address

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
Lookit Light on Jan 12, 2021 wrote:
You raise some good points. However, I must disagree with your viewpoints on banning others. Words have meaning, and if those words are meant to harm or belittle others, then action should be taken. If someone says something hateful, homophobic, or otherwise discriminatory, it is not only justified, but paramount to deliver appropriate consequences, to ensure a safe environment for players of all ages and backgrounds. Any previous payment they have made to the game is irrelevant; should they commit an offense, that should not influence the punishment that they receive.

You are absolutely correct in that players who jump between accounts specifically to troll others are a problem. That is one of the purposes I intended when making this thread; debating among the community effective ways to solve this problem and others. And I must say, your suggestion isn't a bad thought either.

Regarding Anecorbie's concerns about multi-family accounts, this is indeed a bit of a tricky area. If a certain person on an account shared by a family commits an offense, my belief is that punishments should come regardless. Let's be honest, Kingsisle has little way of knowing for sure that an account is being used by multiple people. But this isn't to say that those consequences should affect everyone in that household; the family can write to Kingsisle's Customer Support explaining the situation and request a second chance. But you are correct in that there is no real way to fix that in particular; the actions of a specific individual in a multi-person account are very difficult to deal with.
Ok insulting someone really badly is bad and if you insult there culture most people wont like it, but lets be real here, would you rather: have someone break both of your arms OR curse at you and insult you culture and make fun of you for 15 mins straight, I think a majority of the people would choose the second option. Now I know lots of people are like: well you can remember insults and feel sad. You can also remember physical pain, yes could point you cant feel it after it healed but still sometimes physical pain can lead to death, insults can not, well maybe but that would be really rare. Alright, I think we should not go deeper into that subject and talk about the actual chat problem. So some people just want to say whatever they want and thats why for people who are fine with getting insult or want to insult other can have some insulting realms that they can go to to do that. Yeah you could make a whole other game which is exactly like Wizard101 just with no chat limitations but I think that would be too hard so there should just be a "free for all chat" realm. This is my opinion on this matter and I think its a great thing to have because people who don't want to be insulted just can stay out of that realm.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
In my idea everyone is happy, bullies can bully people and people who dont like being bullied can be in the regular realms. This makes this game truly for everyone, all ages, people with different ideas, different ways of playing and different ways of communicating. Now I am not saying bullying is good, its not but if someone wants to call a person not smart(dont want to put the actual word so the post does not get moderated) or curse once in a while they can use these realms to do it.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
Now if there is a problem with bullies going to the regular realms and cursing around the moderations, the moderation system can be improved and there can be a notification saying "Hey, you just cursed, you will get transported to a cursing realm" or something. So we can put all these improvements on the regular realms but delete almost all moderations on the "insulting realms"(other than the personal information sharing of course).

Defender
Mar 31, 2015
183
Lookit Light on Jan 12, 2021 wrote:
You raise some good points. However, I must disagree with your viewpoints on banning others. Words have meaning, and if those words are meant to harm or belittle others, then action should be taken. If someone says something hateful, homophobic, or otherwise discriminatory, it is not only justified, but paramount to deliver appropriate consequences, to ensure a safe environment for players of all ages and backgrounds. Any previous payment they have made to the game is irrelevant; should they commit an offense, that should not influence the punishment that they receive.

You are absolutely correct in that players who jump between accounts specifically to troll others are a problem. That is one of the purposes I intended when making this thread; debating among the community effective ways to solve this problem and others. And I must say, your suggestion isn't a bad thought either.

Regarding Anecorbie's concerns about multi-family accounts, this is indeed a bit of a tricky area. If a certain person on an account shared by a family commits an offense, my belief is that punishments should come regardless. Let's be honest, Kingsisle has little way of knowing for sure that an account is being used by multiple people. But this isn't to say that those consequences should affect everyone in that household; the family can write to Kingsisle's Customer Support explaining the situation and request a second chance. But you are correct in that there is no real way to fix that in particular; the actions of a specific individual in a multi-person account are very difficult to deal with.
But how would a 10 year permanent mute NOT be a sufficient punishment for the most egregious cases?

Appropriate consequences are proportional to the offense. I don't agree that outright banning people for words under any circumstances is a proportional offense, especially not if they've spent years playing the game. Maybe they had a bad day, lost their temper? Who knows?

Additionally who is deciding what is 'hateful' or 'discriminatory'? Things that are considered okay now might well be considered discriminatory a few years from now. If I happen to say there are only two scientific genders, would that be 'hateful'?

How long before one can't put two words together without seeming biased and whatever -ist if looked at under the right lens? That's a slippery slope at best. We can agree to disagree on this part.

Astrologist
Mar 16, 2012
1058
Coyle IceBalanceSt... on Jan 12, 2021 wrote:
Ok insulting someone really badly is bad and if you insult there culture most people wont like it, but lets be real here, would you rather: have someone break both of your arms OR curse at you and insult you culture and make fun of you for 15 mins straight, I think a majority of the people would choose the second option. Now I know lots of people are like: well you can remember insults and feel sad. You can also remember physical pain, yes could point you cant feel it after it healed but still sometimes physical pain can lead to death, insults can not, well maybe but that would be really rare. Alright, I think we should not go deeper into that subject and talk about the actual chat problem. So some people just want to say whatever they want and thats why for people who are fine with getting insult or want to insult other can have some insulting realms that they can go to to do that. Yeah you could make a whole other game which is exactly like Wizard101 just with no chat limitations but I think that would be too hard so there should just be a "free for all chat" realm. This is my opinion on this matter and I think its a great thing to have because people who don't want to be insulted just can stay out of that realm.
How many suicides happen each year because of cyber-bullying? Word can hurt and cause a poor self image. There are some who would prefer being attacked physically because they could then fight back.
Making KI create an extra realm just for bullies wastes time and resources that KI can use in better ways - like a stronger report system or more moderators.
However, tell players to "ignore" and avoid certain realms is all that can be done at this time.

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
975
Coyle IceBalanceSt... on Jan 12, 2021 wrote:
Ok insulting someone really badly is bad and if you insult there culture most people wont like it, but lets be real here, would you rather: have someone break both of your arms OR curse at you and insult you culture and make fun of you for 15 mins straight, I think a majority of the people would choose the second option. Now I know lots of people are like: well you can remember insults and feel sad. You can also remember physical pain, yes could point you cant feel it after it healed but still sometimes physical pain can lead to death, insults can not, well maybe but that would be really rare. Alright, I think we should not go deeper into that subject and talk about the actual chat problem. So some people just want to say whatever they want and thats why for people who are fine with getting insult or want to insult other can have some insulting realms that they can go to to do that. Yeah you could make a whole other game which is exactly like Wizard101 just with no chat limitations but I think that would be too hard so there should just be a "free for all chat" realm. This is my opinion on this matter and I think its a great thing to have because people who don't want to be insulted just can stay out of that realm.
I must disagree with you here. As I have already said, this is a game for people of all ages, which means that there will be a decent number of children playing this. It is the duty of Kingsisle to ensure a safe environment for these children and all others playing by taking action against cyberbullies. Kingsisle has not any point allowed bullies to persist in a game that is rated E for Everyone.

There has not, and never will be, a realm where people are allowed to violate Kingsisle's terms of use. Freedom of expression does not mean freedom to say whatever you want; it simply means that you have the freedom to your own opinions. If those opinions hurt others, then they can be reported and Kingsisle can take action. Furthermore, it is wholly unnecessary to make more Realms; Kingsisle already has quite a large number of realms already and they are more then enough to hold the current number of players.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
Exabytes on Jan 13, 2021 wrote:
But how would a 10 year permanent mute NOT be a sufficient punishment for the most egregious cases?

Appropriate consequences are proportional to the offense. I don't agree that outright banning people for words under any circumstances is a proportional offense, especially not if they've spent years playing the game. Maybe they had a bad day, lost their temper? Who knows?

Additionally who is deciding what is 'hateful' or 'discriminatory'? Things that are considered okay now might well be considered discriminatory a few years from now. If I happen to say there are only two scientific genders, would that be 'hateful'?

How long before one can't put two words together without seeming biased and whatever -ist if looked at under the right lens? That's a slippery slope at best. We can agree to disagree on this part.
You raise great points, I absolutely agree with you. If someone said something bad he probably wont want to get banned and loose all that progress he made and now had to start over, imagine being so close to beating Polaris, but you accidentally say something that somehow could be considered bad and someone gets sad and reports and then your banned, like who would like that?? Ok, but maybe he said it on purpose then, like Exabytes said s/he could just be having a horrible day, maybe he went to the dentist and then his tooth got pulled out and then say s/he builds things out of legos and maybe he broke his favorite build or a relative died, if a bunch of people around him are asking questions about his progress or something and he gets annoyed, he could just say "I hate you all" or something meaner. Also maybe a person does not consider something like "Oh shoot"(hopefully this does not get moderated) a bad word but someone takes it as something really rude. I think even a 10 year ban is WAAAAAAAAAAYYY to big of a ban, 6 MONTHS should be the max but and average ban for cursing or being rude should be no more than 1 week. I think it would be a lot more mean to give someone a permanent ban for cursing vs the person cursing. Thats why I want those insulting realms. Also I want caps to be allowed and different languages to be allowed unless they are already.

Geographer
Feb 12, 2015
975
Coyle IceBalanceSt... on Jan 14, 2021 wrote:
You raise great points, I absolutely agree with you. If someone said something bad he probably wont want to get banned and loose all that progress he made and now had to start over, imagine being so close to beating Polaris, but you accidentally say something that somehow could be considered bad and someone gets sad and reports and then your banned, like who would like that?? Ok, but maybe he said it on purpose then, like Exabytes said s/he could just be having a horrible day, maybe he went to the dentist and then his tooth got pulled out and then say s/he builds things out of legos and maybe he broke his favorite build or a relative died, if a bunch of people around him are asking questions about his progress or something and he gets annoyed, he could just say "I hate you all" or something meaner. Also maybe a person does not consider something like "Oh shoot"(hopefully this does not get moderated) a bad word but someone takes it as something really rude. I think even a 10 year ban is WAAAAAAAAAAYYY to big of a ban, 6 MONTHS should be the max but and average ban for cursing or being rude should be no more than 1 week. I think it would be a lot more mean to give someone a permanent ban for cursing vs the person cursing. Thats why I want those insulting realms. Also I want caps to be allowed and different languages to be allowed unless they are already.
To my knowledge, bans do not result in characters getting deleted; they merely suspend an account and prevent you from accessing it.

Furthermore, you appear to be assuming that Kingsisle would automatically give out the worst punishments to all users. I find it perfectly reasonable to give out lower-degree punishments that could be considered on the milder end of the spectrum; something like a week-long mute and/or an automated warning sent to your account.

Using Gabriel Storm's suggestions to improve how players report, I could imaging a warning going like this example:

"Your account has been reported for the following offenses: Rude behavior. Because of this, your account has been temporarily muted for 7 days, and Text Chat will not be accessible during this time. A remainder that such activities violates Kingsisle's Terms of Use for Wizard101, and further action will be taken if your account violates our Terms of Use again. Thank your for your understanding."

This would be a good method to remind players new to the game that their actions have consequences and that they must abide by the Terms of Use, without being overly excessive.

I must say, though, that 10 year bans and other similar levels of punishment should absolutely remain in place. They are necessary for the moderation of player activity on Wizard101.

Allow me to provide an answer to some of your other thoughts:

Open Chat does exist in this game. It is available for all players with accounts registered as 18 and up, or at parent discretion.

Wizard101 is meant to be available for players of all ages. To achieve that, Kingsisle blacklists some words in order to moderate chat and make this a safe environment for all players. This is why 'free chat' realms do not and will not exist.

To my knowledge, Wizard101 is available in other regions and languages. Which, though, I am not certain.

Astrologist
Mar 16, 2012
1058
Lookit Light on Jan 13, 2021 wrote:
I must disagree with you here. As I have already said, this is a game for people of all ages, which means that there will be a decent number of children playing this. It is the duty of Kingsisle to ensure a safe environment for these children and all others playing by taking action against cyberbullies. Kingsisle has not any point allowed bullies to persist in a game that is rated E for Everyone.

There has not, and never will be, a realm where people are allowed to violate Kingsisle's terms of use. Freedom of expression does not mean freedom to say whatever you want; it simply means that you have the freedom to your own opinions. If those opinions hurt others, then they can be reported and Kingsisle can take action. Furthermore, it is wholly unnecessary to make more Realms; Kingsisle already has quite a large number of realms already and they are more then enough to hold the current number of players.
Hurtful or rude isn't a reason to report; foul language, racial slurs and sexual harassment is. And those under 13 are protected if all they have is menu chat. Personally, I think menu chat should be extended to age 15.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
The reason I want there to be less moderation is not because I want people to get bullied or so you can make insults at people, its so its easier to communicate, express certain emotions, tell people more things and tell people how you are feeling. Plus bullies wont stop bullying if you try to ban them, they will either try to take revenge and bully more people and the person who reported them or think its a game and try to find more and more clever ways to avoid the ban. If you let them bully they would get what they want and do it less because they did some bad things but then they might start concentrating on quests because people get bored of doing bad things to people when they don't get mad and thats the type of people that would be in the free chat realms. You are saying that this game is for everyone, well its not for everyone if its not for people who want to say some bad words in video games. At least add and emoji for some bad words.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
anecorbie on Jan 13, 2021 wrote:
How many suicides happen each year because of cyber-bullying? Word can hurt and cause a poor self image. There are some who would prefer being attacked physically because they could then fight back.
Making KI create an extra realm just for bullies wastes time and resources that KI can use in better ways - like a stronger report system or more moderators.
However, tell players to "ignore" and avoid certain realms is all that can be done at this time.
Also making a solution that makes everyone happy is worse then making bullies unhappy and only some people who hate cursing and swearing happy???

Defender
Jul 26, 2012
131
One feature I would like to see added to an improved reporting system would be to have the option to report players discretely. From my limited experience whenever a player is reported they will get a pop-up text box telling them they've been reported and warning them to watch their language. The problem I have with this is it leads to unnecessary drama such as the player demanding to know who reported them or false reporting other players as "revenge". This also discourages me from reporting a player if I'm in a group with them. If they get that pop-up message they'll probably figure someone in the group reported them and they'll start throwing around accusations or even leave the group because they're throwing a fit. Depending on the dungeon and group composition this could mean having to start an entire instance over all because someone was trying to do the right thing by reporting rule-breaking behavior.

Thus, it would be nice to have a "discrete report" option where you can report players without having that warning message pop up on their screen. I feel like that message pop up just creates unnecessary drama and discourages people from reporting rule breaking behavior when they otherwise would.

Defender
Aug 16, 2014
115
Here's my thoughts:

User Jumping + Rattlebones Block

I feel like it is too much work to have many different accounts, just for bullying. Additionally, I like the idea of blocking at rattlebones, but just rattlebones. If it was blocked until lvl 15, people who want to try out the game without buying membership would probably feel left out.

Auto Actions + Launcher Block

On auto mutes, multiple people should report, not just one person. Maybe 4-5? On launcher block and IP stuff, I think the launcher shouldn't be blocked. Also households who have one main computer for games would suffer ip blocks. Instead, lock accounts only unlockable by the head in the little account family, or customer service if it is the head. This way, if its some trouble maker in the house, their parents would have to unlock it. Also, if they can't they would have to go through the pain of making more accounts and getting past that rattlebones.

-Zachary SpiritLeaf + Morgrim StarBlossom

Astrologist
Mar 16, 2012
1058
Coyle IceBalanceSt... on Jan 14, 2021 wrote:
The reason I want there to be less moderation is not because I want people to get bullied or so you can make insults at people, its so its easier to communicate, express certain emotions, tell people more things and tell people how you are feeling. Plus bullies wont stop bullying if you try to ban them, they will either try to take revenge and bully more people and the person who reported them or think its a game and try to find more and more clever ways to avoid the ban. If you let them bully they would get what they want and do it less because they did some bad things but then they might start concentrating on quests because people get bored of doing bad things to people when they don't get mad and thats the type of people that would be in the free chat realms. You are saying that this game is for everyone, well its not for everyone if its not for people who want to say some bad words in video games. At least add and emoji for some bad words.
This entire post is so wrong in many ways, so I'm going to list your points and my disagreements to them (without resorting to insults telling you how I feel.)
First of all: I don't believe that reporting should be used against rude, insulting players. That it should be used against those who use bad language around the filter, for racial slurs and sexual harassment.
The best response to someone using insults is "ignore" and change realms. This is a bully's nightmare; you have negated their "voice" they might as well be menu chat for all you care.


"If you let them bully they would get what they want and do it less.."
No, the reason people bully isn't because they're bored, they get a mental charge in bullying, that they have been able to make someone feel bad, this gives them power over other players.And if they're not stopped they will do it more.

This game is for everyone who obeys the rules - it is in the the Terms of Service that you agree to before you download the game. They have no right in this game to say bad words, that's why we have a filter even for Open Chat. If they want to "cuss", go and off load some of that (bleep!) among their friends and don't bring it here.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
anecorbie on Jan 14, 2021 wrote:
Hurtful or rude isn't a reason to report; foul language, racial slurs and sexual harassment is. And those under 13 are protected if all they have is menu chat. Personally, I think menu chat should be extended to age 15.
Oh i activated before 13 because 13 is WAAAAAAYYYY to early if menu chat filters hatful things why does there have to be an age limit, 8 year olds know most curse words and know there meaning.

Delver
Sep 13, 2016
291
Lookit Light on Jan 14, 2021 wrote:
To my knowledge, bans do not result in characters getting deleted; they merely suspend an account and prevent you from accessing it.

Furthermore, you appear to be assuming that Kingsisle would automatically give out the worst punishments to all users. I find it perfectly reasonable to give out lower-degree punishments that could be considered on the milder end of the spectrum; something like a week-long mute and/or an automated warning sent to your account.

Using Gabriel Storm's suggestions to improve how players report, I could imaging a warning going like this example:

"Your account has been reported for the following offenses: Rude behavior. Because of this, your account has been temporarily muted for 7 days, and Text Chat will not be accessible during this time. A remainder that such activities violates Kingsisle's Terms of Use for Wizard101, and further action will be taken if your account violates our Terms of Use again. Thank your for your understanding."

This would be a good method to remind players new to the game that their actions have consequences and that they must abide by the Terms of Use, without being overly excessive.

I must say, though, that 10 year bans and other similar levels of punishment should absolutely remain in place. They are necessary for the moderation of player activity on Wizard101.

Allow me to provide an answer to some of your other thoughts:

Open Chat does exist in this game. It is available for all players with accounts registered as 18 and up, or at parent discretion.

Wizard101 is meant to be available for players of all ages. To achieve that, Kingsisle blacklists some words in order to moderate chat and make this a safe environment for all players. This is why 'free chat' realms do not and will not exist.

To my knowledge, Wizard101 is available in other regions and languages. Which, though, I am not certain.
They should add the recent phrases you said before the ban so you know what not to day if you siad something that someone thought was rude but you did not.