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Unavoidable gross racism

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  • Unavoidable gross racism

    Hey, so it's obviously *slightly* trollish to post this here, but please bear with me -- I'm not trying to be a dick! My concern:

    Right now, there is no way to avoid seeing obvious racial slurs in Dota. It's not the only communication abuse problem that the game currently opts you into experiencing, but it is by far the most omnipresent. The game opts you into joining regional chats and auto-rejoins when you start the game, but it does not offer any means for holding people accountable for their language, nor any reasonably useful way to mute people. If being a hateful, unsafe and unhealthily oppressive environment is what the game is going for, then I guess this isn't a bug. But I'm assuming that you wouldn't want someone to log in for the first time and read a stream of racial slurs aimed at their race. That seems like a real "bug" to me, and a serious problem for the growth of Dota.

    To me holding people accountable for their language goes beyond muting. There needs to be a way to report people for using hate speech, and then have some kind of automated muting happen. It could be on a channel-by-channel basis, but if I'm muting people, that should help save others from having to read a stream of hatred, and same for the muting efforts of others.

    Also, muting is currently pretty useless because you have to scroll down a list of thousands of names to do it. It should be really simple and available by clicking on a chatter's name in the chat itself.

    It also seems to me that some words could just be filtered out automatically -- ones that are just obviously hateful. Or use asterisks. Just do something to keep people from using hate speech to provoke, harass, or just annoy. The fact that the chats are unfiltered is clearly inviting people to just copy and paste the n-word, and swastikas, and all kinds of garbage.

    I recognize that there are free speech implications for algorithmically dealing with language, but -- call me crazy -- I'm just not super concerned about the right of white teenagers to use the n-word. I'm a white dude, and I don't want to spend time in space, real or virtual, that's full of that stuff. Words themselves are not the problem, but let's not delude ourselves about the demographics of the game in the US -- this isn't reclamation of terms of hate, here. It's almost always just straight-up racism, at least in the US rooms. It's not good for anyone's mental health, it's not good for the Dota community, and it's not good for gaming on the whole. And it's totally avoidable. So please let's fix it ASAP.

    Thanks for reading and, in advance, for being thoughtful about this. And thanks for your work on this great game.

    (P.S. And if this isn't the bucket for this, please let's make sure it gets put in a high-priority bucket in which it does belong. Let's not let this one fall through the cracks. Let's not surprise, shock or trigger anyone else with the utter rancidity that the in-client, out-of-game environment has allowed to fester since Reborn launched).
    Last edited by diceytroop; 01-26-2016, 01:34 PM.

  • #2
    This is a feature, not a bug.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Guggleywubbins View Post
      This is a feature, not a bug.
      I'm assuming that what you mean to say is that solving the racism is a feature request, not that the racism itself is a feature. I think that one valid way to look at it is that the current chat feature is bugged because its current design produces this outcome which was, I believe it is safe to assume, not intended. I do agree that solving it may require adding features to, or otherwise changing, the chat feature, but that isn't necessarily incompatible with viewing this behavior as a bug.
      Last edited by diceytroop; 01-31-2016, 02:53 PM.


      • #4
        joining regional channels is optional. You can turn it off from options. You can mute anyone from regional channels by right clicking his name, next to the message that you find offensive. I assume if you had time to read it, chat is not going that fast that you ll have a problem clicking on him. Lastly, even though you are not suggesting something specific apart from lets globally mute them, it would only give another window for users to abuse. A year or two ago, you could report anyone just by going in their dota profile, something that has been removed.


        • #5
          I take your point about reporting (which now works, but was bugged when I wrote this), but again, there is no formal accountability. The game filters for all kinds of language for various reasons, some of them having to do with community standards. This doesn't seem to apply to HUD chat, though. The current state of these chats is the result of lacking a way to deal with the obvious issues that unmoderated chats create.

          Building chat like this reflects a lack of interest in considering the ways that issues of oppressive communication affect players of historically marginalized groups. This seems demonstrative of why gaming remains dominated by people of privilege. Developers need to think about the politics and power dynamics of the shit they build if they want it to work the way they intend. I still think this should have been treated as a bug report. You shouldn't have to remove yourself from the community to avoid being subjected to free-range hatred.
          Last edited by diceytroop; 02-19-2016, 10:18 PM.


          • #6
            I support the racism in Dota else would you tell the russian scum they r scum ?


            • #7
              Originally posted by EZHui View Post
              I support the racism in Dota else would you tell the russian scum they r scum ?
              Russian is not a race, it's a nationality.