It's more likely that about 10-20% of the active community is currently muted, at least in the normal brackets. This is evidenced by a large number of games I've played where players on my team communicate only with the chat wheel and pings, or where the enemy team have had "muted" in one of their players' nicks. I'm guessing that close to 1/3 of the active playerbase has been muted for 24 hours or more at some point. Valve's statistics don't add up with observation, and should simply be discarded as public relations' repair.

If you didn't play on the "launch day" of the muting system, the likelyhood of you having been muted is significantly lower than if you did. On "launch day", everyone could report everyone. And if you were muted? Then you reported everybody else, on both teams. Because you experiencd the horror of realizing you had been punished, but not told that you were punished (as you are in LPQ). So the people who claim not to have been muted must either have been absent on launch day, or play almost entirely in stacks (or both).

Statistically, everyone in our community has an extremely high chance of getting muted *at some point*. This is because of how probability works. All of the universe is based on probability -- this is proven by quantum mechanics and statistical thermodynamics, for which there is ample evidence. If the chance of an event is a number larger than zero, then as time progresses, your likelyhood of never having been muted is going to decrease. Simultaneously, because it appears that the "system" has a lower threshold for previously muted players than it does for those who are not, it seems likely that we will experience a "mute bubble" in a month or two -- where a *significantly larger* percentage of the active community is muted at a single time (plus the cumulative nature of the mute creates more active playing muted players than a non-cumulative one would).

I expect that once this bubble bursts, Valve will significantly "nerf" the muting system. It's just too bad that this has to happen before they see the error of their ways.

As for efficacy?

I've trained a number of new players, I give helpful advice to teammates (and for this, I've gotten a fairly large number of commends -- I estimate that for every person who reports me while I'm not muted, there is between one and three that commend me). If I am to be doomed to play in this bracket where I am the best player on my team 50-70% of the time, and I can't give constructive criticism to teammates without being muted for a week, what possible reason do I have to play like anything but a troll? Frankly I'm losing my incentive to behave well at all. At least as a troll, I could laugh the entire game, rather than be frustrated with my teammates' simple-to-fix mistakes, unable to change the losing course of my game because an Italian didn't like the tone of my voice, or that I talked to someone on microphone to coordinate a gank (a large number of players dislike it when people use the in-game voice command, even though there is a mute button for it).

I'm a competitive person. Instead of trolling or annoying my teammates with the chat-wheel, I'd much rather be trying to win, and I'd like Valve's system to be an *addition* to the gameplay rather than a direct subtraction.