Valorant developer Riot will begin recording player voice chat to combat harassment

Polycount

Posts: 2,844   +575
Staff member
In context: Anyone that's played online games competitively for more than a few hours has probably run into a few less-than-pleasant teammates. There are bitter DPS players that feel they're the only competent member of the team and frustrated support players with allies that continuously run into groups of enemies and die. We've all seen them, and we've all heard their angry rants.

Unfortunately, some players go beyond lamenting the poor skill of their teammates and descend into the realm of "toxicity" -- where the slurs, "hate speech," and harassment starts to come out. Though muting these players is always an option, it's also one some players are getting tired of exercising.

Those individuals have been calling for game developers to tackle this complex problem directly for years. While many developers are still working on solutions, Riot has just announced one that might fit the bill: moving forward, the developer will begin recording and temporarily storing voice chat in Valorant. This new policy will only apply to North America at first.

When a player gets reported for their behavior in a match, Riot will review the corresponding recording to determine whether or not there were any rule violations. After resolving the matter, Riot says the recording will be removed, as it is "no longer needed."

Riot says the only way for players to avoid having their voice recorded is to turn off voice chat entirely. However, the company says it won't "actively monitor" live game comms -- it will only listen after a report is filed.

Player reactions to this news have been mixed, to say the least. Some don't feel comfortable with yet another company having access to their data, whereas others feel public voice chat isn't a private medium to begin with, thus there is no problem with having it recorded.

It remains to be seen whether or not Riot will stick to its guns here, but if nothing else, this news will likely act as a deterrent to any potential rulebreakers. If they're the type to harass their fellow players, they might think twice if they know a few employees at Riot HQ will be listening in later.

Permalink to story.

 

Nobina

Posts: 2,992   +2,779
If you follow this space you know Riot uses games as a tool to "improve peoples behavior" cause they are mentally ill while having more skeletons in the closet than than you can count.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,288   +2,497
TechSpot Elite
The difference is that you are not allowed to wiretap, especially underaged kids, in many places.
And the other difference is that it's a "public" chat hosted by them (not a wiretap).

If they tried to tap into Discord and record those conversations, I would have a problem. But hosted voice chat made public to the lobby? Why is that even a problem? Especially when it's announced that they're doing it (and not secretive)?
 

gerjy5w

Posts: 49   +66
I got temp muted for raging at a kid and his friend after they did some of the most brain dead stuff ever. This is what our society is going to become. A space where everybody feels "safe" which means no challenging their pretentious attitudes and where we foster the mentally weak.
 

Axil00

Posts: 64   +75
Though muting these players is always an option, it's also one some players are getting tired of exercising.

Source please? Where are the actual players that have asked for this? Has anyone ever polled the players to see if they actually care?

Because if not quite frankly this is "fake news". It's one thing for the company itself to come up with BS PR reasons to justify doing whatever it is they want to do, but why help then out?

I would love to see a primary source for how many players of any given game think harrassment/bullying is a problem, how much of a problem they think it is and what if anything they want done about it.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,493   +3,324
TechSpot Elite
And the other difference is that it's a "public" chat hosted by them (not a wiretap).

If they tried to tap into Discord and record those conversations, I would have a problem. But hosted voice chat made public to the lobby? Why is that even a problem? Especially when it's announced that they're doing it (and not secretive)?
it's not a "public" chat, it's a team chat, only 5 people can access it. and even so, you need permission to record from a parent or guardian.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,992   +2,779
I got temp muted for raging at a kid and his friend after they did some of the most brain dead stuff ever. This is what our society is going to become. A space where everybody feels "safe" which means no challenging their pretentious attitudes and where we foster the mentally weak.
This is very true. You can be as much of an ***** as you want nothing's gonna happen to you but the person that points out you being a ***** is the one getting punished.
 

Wrinkle

Posts: 41   +33
I got temp muted for raging at a kid and his friend after they did some of the most brain dead stuff ever. This is what our society is going to become. A space where everybody feels "safe" which means no challenging their pretentious attitudes and where we foster the mentally weak.

You are raging at two random children and then you call them mentally weak?
 

Axil00

Posts: 64   +75
You are raging at two random children and then you call them mentally weak?
Yes?
I'd have to agree that relying on a multibillion dollar corporation to protect you from the bad words of a random gaming teammate, indicates some form of mental or psychological weakness.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 81   +42
The difference is that you are not allowed to wiretap, especially underaged kids, in many places.
This situation is different, you have been agreed to be recorded by accepting the terms of service. If you don't like or accept the terms of service you are free to discontinue the service. If you look at the terms of service for many internet services you have no expectation of privacy from the service provider itself, you only have the expectation that the service provider will not publicly disclose the information.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 135   +135
I got temp muted for raging at a kid and his friend after they did some of the most brain dead stuff ever. This is what our society is going to become. A space where everybody feels "safe" which means no challenging their pretentious attitudes and where we foster the mentally weak.
You rage at kids over their competence at a game...sounds like you are the problem.

Riot is improving their game by banning people that don’t know how to enjoy a game without wrecking it for other people.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,153   +752
This is no different than servers logging text chat, which they do, for later review by admins.
Yep... people hate accountability for the stuff they have gotten away with for years. Anti PC people don't realise it's bad because mental trauma etc, the VICTIM is the one told they have the problem rather than society pointing out it's the trash who put them in that situation in the first place that are the real issue.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,493   +3,324
TechSpot Elite
This situation is different, you have been agreed to be recorded by accepting the terms of service. If you don't like or accept the terms of service you are free to discontinue the service. If you look at the terms of service for many internet services you have no expectation of privacy from the service provider itself, you only have the expectation that the service provider will not publicly disclose the information.
An TOS meaningless when talking about children and you should know this. It's not illegal to ban someone because they broke the TOS, but it is illegal to use the TOS to do something illegal even if the child "agreed" to it.
 

Axil00

Posts: 64   +75
Yep... people hate accountability for the stuff they have gotten away with for years. Anti PC people don't realise it's bad because mental trauma etc, the VICTIM is the one told they have the problem rather than society pointing out it's the trash who put them in that situation in the first place that are the real issue.
interesting take.

Any reason we can't label those being surveilled victims and the multibillion dollar business doing the surveillance the "trash who put them there"?

Again, anyone have any evidence whatsoever other than personal feelings?

For the record I'm not saying these claims are false only that perhaps we shouldn't make these kinds of changes on the basis of unproven theories.