Blizzard is Using YouTube to Find Toxic Overwatch Players

Blizzard is Using YouTube to Find Toxic Overwatch Players

Toxicity is public enemy number one for Blizzard's Overwatch team.

Blizzard's Overwatch team has made combating toxic behavior in the game a top priority. Alongside a host of new and improved reporting features, director Jeff Kaplan revealed that Blizzard is taking additional steps at tackling toxic behaviors. That includes things like finding toxic players on social media sites like YouTube and taking action against them, even before they get reported.

Yesterday, Kaplan appeared in another developer update video this time addressing community questions. The first topic covered Blizzard's fight against community toxicity, which Kaplan says is improving. "I am very pleased to report that in competitive play since [reporting] features went live incidents of abusive chat are now down 17 percent." Kaplan also revealed that player reporting is up 20 percent.

While Kaplan also admits that those numbers "aren't as great as they could be" and that the "problem is not solved," he says it's a step in the right direction.

However, improvements made to the reporting suite isn't all Blizzard's Overwatch team is doing to combat negative players in the game. Blizzard is going beyond just what players are reporting to the company, and taking an active approach to finding toxic players.

"We now proactively seek out social media sites like YouTube, for example, and look for incidents of very toxic behavior and track down the accounts that are participating in those and action the, often ties before anybody's even reported them or they've show up in any other place."

Kaplan hints in the video that this approach is one of a few that the Overwatch team hasn't really talked about in public, but pursues in hopes of creating a healthier community.

Toxicity in Overwatch has been a major focus for the development team as of late, and something Kaplan has talked about plenty of times in previous developer updates. He even revealed that trying to curb toxicity has gotten to the point where it was taking time away from development of the game itself. So for all our sake's the faster Overwatch's community becomes less toxic, the better it will be for all players and the game itself.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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