French video gaming company Ubisoft is now colluding with the police and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to imprison users who use “hate speech” while playing their games.
The mainstream media is now reporting this as an important innovation.
According to a BBC report, anyone that has picked up a controller or scrolled a mouse to dabble in some online gaming has likely come across plenty of rape jokes, racism and bullying, among others. The gaming industry, like other people who interact online, has been trying to understand how to tackle behavior like this for years.
Ubisoft, creators of leading franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Rainbow Six, has now signed a first-ever agreement with the police to try and deal with the matter for its players.
The hope is for this deal to begin a discussion within the industry and see others jump on the bandwagon.
Online gaming is a joyful adventure for lots of people daily and it has been a room where friendships are formed and unforgettable experiences are shared. Many would argue it is the unfettered liberty of these platforms that makes them so enjoyable.
Online games were a lifesaver for numerous people’s mental health during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdowns.
However, its dark side is also apparent with abusive behavior, death threats and grooming being discovered in online gaming spaces. “We want to be on the right side of history,” said Damien Glorieux, a senior director of the Newcastle-based Ubisoft Customer Relationship Center.
Gamers worldwide are being watched
Ubisoft, in its five locations around the globe, is keeping an eye on how players are getting along. The company handles everything from purchasing problems to online toxicity.
Other companies have similar arrangements, but what’s unique with Ubisoft is the participation of local law enforcement. The agreement between Ubisoft and Northumbria Police works in two ways.
First, officers share their expertise on injurious online interactions with the 200-strong team working at the center in Newcastle, who then use that training in their regular work.
Second, the deal is that in severe cases, where there is a threat to life or possible serious harm detected, the staff can relay the information to the police who will then decide whether or not to act on it.
“We have millions of players, and tens of millions of interactions – so how can we spot incidents? It is daunting, but at the same time, it is very important, which is why we wanted to sign this deal and try to make things right. We wanted to focus on the most extreme cases, make sure we do the right thing there because it gives us a solid foundation to build the rest of our work around,” Glorieux told BBC News.
Andrew Holliday and his team work with the cases that get close to or reach the brink of police interference.
“This isn’t just a gaming problem, it’s an internet problem. There’s a real appetite to make the whole ecosystem a better place. What we’re working on closely with police on is triaging, you know, where we look at a case and decide – ‘right is this one we can deal with in-house? Or is this something we need to pass on?’” Holliday said.
Gaming is worldwide and some of the cases observed by his staff in the United Kingdom cross national borders.
Infowars.com noted in a report that parents should know Ubisoft games are now a threat to their children. A gamer telling another gamer that he or she wants to “kill them” in a game could be reported to the police and all their private information would be handed over to authorities, even if they are in another country.
The mere idea that Ubisoft would call the police to report their users is a complete disgrace. The ADL’s program for Ubisoft and other gaming corporations rests on spying on gamers, urging companies to prohibit users for supporting “hate speech” and “white supremacy,” broadening in-game reporting systems to police users for their speech and lobbying governments to alter their laws to imprison or penalize gamers for their online speech. (Related: ADL and the fake news media are pressuring Parler to censor ‘hate speech’ accounts.)
Ubisoft is now following ADL’s plan. Parents and gamers are likely to boycott this gaming company soon.