A Mojang community manager said the company has no plans to roll back its implementation of a controversial new player reporting feature and called for an end to the harassment of Mojang employees.
Post on Reddit, MojangMeesh clarified that, while the company appreciates player feedback, this will “not necessarily change the design principles that Mojang Studios adheres to – this includes the upcoming reporting system”. They also asked upset gamers to stop “following Mojang employees here on Reddit” to harass them in unrelated threads. The comment received nearly 2,000 downvotes at the time of writing.
Minecraft players have been angry with the new player reporting system since it was announced a month ago, but it was finally implemented as part of yesterday’s 1.19.1 update. It allows players on private and Mojang-hosted multiplayer servers to report inappropriate messages in chat for review by Mojang investigators, potentially resulting in suspensions and bans for players who violate Minecraft Community Guidelines, even on self-hosted servers. Fans fear the system could result in player bans for messages taken out of context, and more broadly that it gives Microsoft too much power to dictate the content of discussions on its platform.
I don’t think their argument is groundless, even though some players behave terribly about it. It’s hard to see a world where this system doesn’t ban someone because a joke between friends was misinterpreted. There will be an appeal process though, and it is also true that there are many misconceptions about how the system actually works. Scroll through any thread on the subject and you’ll soon find someone complaining about having their private server chat “monitored” by Microsoft, or fearing they’ll be banned for insulting : neither is possible depending on Mojang FAQs on the reporting system.
Mojang is a bit stuck on this one. A yarn from Stuart Duncan– which runs a Minecraft server for children with autism – shows how Minecraft regularly hosts horrible things. Duncan presents studies and reports from the ADL, BBC and others that tell stories of racists and predators using gambling in despicable ways. Providing tools to combat this behavior seems important. While it’s true that “Think of the Kids” scare stories become used to justify reactionary policies in real life, a tool that allows players to report questionable chat messages in Minecraft doesn’t really look like the thin end of a draconian wedge.
Please stop trying to speak for everyone when you say “no one asked for this” or “the whole community hates this” or “no one needs this”. If you’re worried about exploits, that’s fine. Me too. I know it’s not perfect. But real people can be saved by it. Always remember this.July 27, 2022
In other Minecraft news, Mojang recently announced that the game will not feature NFTs, as they contradict its “creative inclusion values”. At least this move seemed to garner nothing but enthusiastic support from the playerbase, though there’s no word yet on what the AI they trained to play Minecraft think about it.