Persistant Racism in WoW

Customer Support
The latest trend on my server is for overt rascism. There was a lot of abuse on General about black people and I reported using the 'language' facility but also raised a ticket as this seems to be getting out of hand. A GM told me that I should put people who do it on ignore and if they make enough comments Blizz will take some form of unspecified action. Last week a reported someone whose in game name was 'N*gg*r' (funny that I can't write this word on a forum but a player can have it as their name) and all that happened was a name change to 'Backtoblack'. The individual concern /w me to tell me that he knew nothing would happen and laugh. The question I have is why don't Blizz take this seriously? People know that they can make derogatory comments about black people or jews and that nothing will happen. Do Blizzard turn a blind eye because they are greedy and need the money, or because they tacitly approve of rascism. In the UK posting overtly rascist comments in a public forum (which I am told would include online games) is illegal and can lead to prosecution should the provider fail to take action. So Blizzard...what's your excuse?
I would expect a person who uses that kind of language would have a 72 hour ban and a final warning, same goes for that name. I suspect they used special letters to make that name as I don't think the game would allow them to make it using normal letters.

There are quite a few characters using that name and an accented vowel instead of a normal one.
Yeah, reporting names is a joke.

I've basically given up reporting names now, especially if i see them on the forums as it usually goes a couple of rounds of whether or not i should use the in-game reporting tool or bug the CM-team about it. (It's neither btw)

When they finally do take action the person just comes up with something as inappropriate, or the exact same name (but with added accented characters for example), needing me to follow up on inappropriate names for 2-3 times until the name change is finally properly enforced.

At the end of all that, their obviously sexist or racist "joke" probably went ahead with little to no disciplinary action based on their armory activity.
Exactly my point. These people are laughing at anyone who finds rascism offensive (I am excluding Blizzard as in my view Blizzard are passively encouraging it). To rename a char 'Backtoblack' after calling it 'N*gg*r' and then laughing about it is all you need to know. A 72 hour ban is nothing. Why do normal people have to put up with this !@#$. We don't on Twitter...

Is it because no one has yet made a legal case? Or there is no press coverage yet about racial harrassment in the gaming world?

I am curious to see what Blizzard actually say about this? Meanwhile I suspect it is because they don't care or actually are sympathetic to the opinions expressed.
24/03/2013 21:07Posted by Wuffajoo
I am curious to see what Blizzard actually say about this?

I can guess "we take this kind of breach of the naming rules very seriously, please report anyone you see with names like these and we will deal with them appropriately." Or in other words, warn them and make them change the name.
I don't know about the disciplinary actions these people face - aside from being forced to change their name - but I think saying that 'Blizzard' as a whole as if it was one entity made up of a single mind is rather unfortunate and unfair for the people working there. I'm pretty sure the employees have their own individual opinion (which I'm sure in some cases, I can't speak for everyone, will match yours) about these names which they cannot, obviously, disclose on the forums because it's just not the proper place.

At the end of the day the GMs have a policy they have to follow. I'm assuming they will have a scale of punishments from simply forcing a namechange to a warning to a ban, and in theory an individual that accumulates enough of these 'fines' will end up getting in hot water about it. I say in theory because I've personally never faced that sort of stuff and I can only speak for the policy that is written on paper. I'm sure some GMs would love to hand out bans to these people, but might have their hands tied to acting according to policy - having worked in a support job before I know some things can be pretty strict.

So while I understand you want to know what they have to say, as a company, what they have to say is written on their policy.
24/03/2013 21:31Posted by Nyshae
I don't know about the disciplinary actions these people face - aside from being forced to change their name - but I think saying that 'Blizzard' as a whole as if it was one entity made up of a single mind is rather unfortunate and unfair for the people working there. I'm pretty sure the employees have their own individual opinion (which I'm sure in some cases, I can't speak for everyone, will match yours) about these names which they cannot, obviously, disclose on the forums because it's just not the proper place.


Blizzard is a company, the company is a single entity, which you also acknowledge later in your post, which turns the premise of your argument into nonsense.

Noone is claiming the individuals in CS wouldn't like to handle it differently from company policy, but company policy is still decided by Blizzard. I don't really mind that they get away with it with little to no disciplinary action if they could atleast solve it with one ticket instead of 3 or more.
And as I said in my original thread...this is not just about name changes. I also reproted a whole 10 minute General chat conversation where racial abuse was used and people like myself who said something laughed at and told that Blizzard would do nothing...and what do you know...they did nothing!

I have decided enough is enough and I will keep pushing this until Blizzard take action or are fiorced to take action. We don't need rascists in WoW and we don't need Blizzard protecting them.

People of all colours should be able to play this game without harrassment.
People of all colours should be able to play this game without harrassment.


.. except Gnomes. They're not even fit for [Curry-Flavored Gnomerolls] anymore :(
Blizzard is a company, the company is a single entity, which you also acknowledge later in your post, which turns the premise of your argument into nonsense.

I mostly saw the comment that Blizzard is sympathetic of racist comments because the policy isn't enforced properly (or the policy isn't being harsh enough) a bit silly, that's all. They already have a statement for all to see and nothing different is going to be said outside that for the company.

I don't know if the fault lies on the way they're being handled or the policy not being strict enough. Personally I think that if someone wants to be cute and changes their flagged name to something also offensive they should get a harsher ban without the need to report more than once, if that's the issue you're having (I've not reported anyone by ticket in a long time).

I don't know if it's already in place or if it's even possible, but if not it'd be nice if there was a follow up policy for names that are forcibly changed, so that they would check the new name the person picked for their character/guild/whatever and if it was another offensive one, ban to the face. It might add to the workload a little but it'd certainly save workload elsewhere with having to answer new tickets or reports. Or, well, don't let them rename manually, have them ticket with the name they want so it can be reviewed. Added to the punishment would be having to wait for their ticket to be replied :p
I'm more interested in the fact people are looking for excuses to complain about something. Part of the reason of giving this game up to be honest.

Couple of thing you people need to understand. Firstly!

If you are offended by mere scribble wrote down by a little kiddies then it is down to you to understand why this is causing you an emotion response. Maturity is a combination of Education and Experience creating this beautiful thing known us all as understanding. If you believe the Pen is mightier that the sword then in your world the "Pen" will cause more harm towards you as a person. Having that said it would down to you to adjust your own ethics to better your self rather than taking actions and writing complaints about a topic calling for the persecution of those that lack sensitivities of others.

It's not terribly difficult to block those irritants in game permanently. If people just did that instead of writing more dribble about he said she said and use some common sense and stop asking people to think for them! Then this game would improves by thousands of percent.

The big issue seems to come from the original poster. You've obviously had a bad experience. The real question people need to be asking is: What on earth brought that on. The solutions to such things are easy to solve if you only had the understanding to solve it.

People are vindictive emotional wrecks screeching about then end of the world when it amounts to nothing. This is a sure intercalation of maturity and although sometimes I cannot be excused it can certainly be ignored.

Sometimes retaliation only gives the trolls the fuel they need to continue. Now understanding that these trolls require fuel to function why do those people take absolutely no responsibilities what so ever feeding them?

Walking away from a bad situation accomplishes more than actually confronting those sad little trolls.
24/03/2013 23:21Posted by Nyshae
Blizzard is a company, the company is a single entity, which you also acknowledge later in your post, which turns the premise of your argument into nonsense.

I mostly saw the comment that Blizzard is sympathetic of racist comments because the policy isn't enforced properly (or the policy isn't being harsh enough) a bit silly, that's all. They already have a statement for all to see and nothing different is going to be said outside that for the company.


Fair enough, it should be said they are actually enforcing the policies, my issue is mostly within how it turns into a frustrating time-waste for both parties. There are certainly policies that have been set in other areas in order to reduce response times at the expense of service, but I've pretty much given up on those.

I don't know if the fault lies on the way they're being handled or the policy not being strict enough. Personally I think that if someone wants to be cute and changes their flagged name to something also offensive they should get a harsher ban without the need to report more than once, if that's the issue you're having (I've not reported anyone by ticket in a long time).


Yeah, basically since they introduced the "Report player"-function, each time I've met a player that I cannot report using that function (i.e. one on the forum) I've made a ticket, explaining I cannot use the tool, because obviously I didn't meet him in-game.

Most of the time I need follow up tickets because they tell me to report it using the in-game tool, some point they even told me to report it to the community team, so i'm constantly having to deal with atleast 1 follow-up ticket per report, just to have the report properly dealt with.

At the same time I've seen some pretty inappropriate names, and I don't mind they're lenient on first offenders, but many of the reports I made they usually just end up changing the old name slightly or coming up with an equally offensive name.

At that point, in my opinion, the user has said "Ok, I know the policies, but I'm going to break them anyway", and at the very least at that point I shouldn't have to report names an additional couple of times before Blizzard finally decides to make sure his new name isn't inappropriate. There was one a while back that i had to report 3 or 4 times until Blizzard finally made sure that his new name was not offensive.

So until I don't have to spend pretty much a week to make sure one person gets dealt with properly, I've decided to call it quits on trying to weed out the "jokesters" who think they're funny when they make obvious racist/sexist remarks in their name.
The issue is simple. There is a lot more rascism now in Warcraft than there used to be. It is overt and shameless. The posters openly laugh about the fact that Blizzard will do nothing. The General chat often has comments which would result in criminal action on twitter etc. We can of course put people on ignore but why should we have to accept that rascism is a part of life. People do not play WoW to be subject to harassment and intimidation.

This thread has been a bit sidetracked into a conversation about name changes which was only one of the issues I reported. The main problem is general chat. I have about 20 people on ignore because of this and have reported all of them, but everyday I have to report more.

'Blacks aren't smart enough?', 'Are you black retard', 'Stupid jew' etc etc etc.

If you stand quietly by and accept that rascism is 'just part of life', then you are part of the problem. Perhaps you are yourself a rascist, quietly satisfied by hatred being stirred up by others and perhaps you just lack the guts to take a stand. If someone said this to me in the street they would not enjoy the response...but of course on Warcraft they can hide behind Blizzard and anonymity like the gutless little sh*ts they are.

If you were black or jewish of course, and you had experienced this in real life you may have a different view.

One of the posters above describes taking a stand against rascists as 'vindictive'. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps people who object to this sort of bullying anywhere in the world are just being vindictive...or perhaps we just don't think it is acceptable to have to continually listen to this. I have indeed had bad experiences and want myself and my children to be able to play a game without that bleeding over from real life.

Blizzard are clearly encouraging this by their failure to take action. They won't even respond on this thread.
24/03/2013 23:21Posted by Nyshae
I don't know if it's already in place or if it's even possible, but if not it'd be nice if there was a follow up policy for names that are forcibly changed, so that they would check the new name the person picked for their character/guild/whatever and if it was another offensive one, ban to the face.

I have to agree with this 100%, all it would need is the system to flag the names and produce a simple report with the old name and the new name and how hard would it be for Blizzard to actively search out these names, obviously they have a list of banned names and I'm sure that easily could be compared to the character list.

Even a simple search for the name the OP said offended him finds 4 entries on Outland, Ysondre, Malfurion and Pozzo dell'Eternità and a name I had to change, a shortened version of Richard, has 53 entries.

Edit: The chat system could also be used to autoflag the users of these words and phrases instead of us having to report them. Remember that every one of us agrees not to use these words when we agree to the Terms of Use.
I do report names I find offensive, and sometimes whisper ppl who use "g a y", "j e w" etc. as a derogative asking them to please not use that word as it offends me. If I get a snippy comment back (I'm always polite in my whisper) I just refrain from discussing it any more - no need to feed the trade-trolls.

At the end of the day we're the ones that are the best source for a change to our environment by reporting and ignoring. Especially making sure that rascist/sexist comments never crop up in guild chat. That should defo be a safe haven.

However I'd like to say that some people can be too touchy as well. (Not saying this applies to you tho OP)
For instance: apart from the fact that sentences as names aren't allowed (if i remember correctly), it's the context that makes OP's example racist (and ofc the whisper). Personally I associate/misread "BackToBlack" with the AC/DC song Back in Black.
How come you knew it was the same person by the way? Do you Friend them?
This is like botting and gold trading ...

... the correct approach (already mentioned here ofc):

* Immediate modest penalty for anything not allowed by Blizz policy
* Account-level tracking, so additional infractions can be recognized
* Increase the penalty for every infraction
* Be prepared to perma-ban players

Blizz don't provide the tools to their CS people to do this efficiently. It's also clear they manage CS for minimum cost, not for actually delivering assistance or service (except if you're having trouble giving them money - that part of CS is very well staffed /lol).

What's the point of a policy that's impractical to apply? Is it a policy at all?
Stop !@#$%ing about finding names offensive, I'm sure you're not really offended by these names, unless they are really bad ( like the overtly racist n*gg*r ones ).
How come you knew it was the same person by the way? Do you Friend them?

/ignore has a list too.
Aks yourself, who is the racist here?

The guy that thinks that name sounds, or the guy that still lives 500 years in the past, tries to enforce his idiotic beliefs to others that every damn thing sounds offensive and actively tries to enforce the stereotype that people that have the same skin colour as him are a bunch of whiners when it comes to this and similar issues?

I don't care if this post sounds arrogant or offensive, but only fools with personal issues have a problem with stuff like this.

We're in the 21th century, I think its enough to beat down the dead horse. There was race-related crap in the past, no point in you bringing it up again, its long gone.

You're black? Be blue if you want, who gives a crap. Its a !@#$ing skin colour, not a death or life question.

EDIT: Stop considering yourself a special snowflake because of your skin colour. You're not. We're all the same.
Let's ignore the character name thing for a moment. The OP has said the name bit was just part of it, he's also talking about the tone some conversations take, not names alone. The thread is leaning towards the name thing (I'm guilty of that too :p) but he's talking about chat as a whole.

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