How WG Handles Chat Bans (WoWS)

Thanks to ndiver for the mail.

„I found today something interesting posted by the French Customer Support of WoT a year ago concerning sanctions against toxic players in the different ingame chats:
I realize now that it might interest more players than the few French ones, and decided to translate it in English.

To set the context, in the past years, I was living in Germany (now I’m back in France), where the government is quite aggressive against the promotion of Nazi symbols, including towards video games creators. Despite that, we frequently see in the chats of WoT or WoWs some idiots posting things like that:

As WG never reveals which sanctions are taken against these toxic players (reported through tickets to the support), I checked the activity of these players and realized that none of them got banned ingame after a reply from Support.
I thus started to publicly wonder if WG had really an interest in punishing these players:

And interestingly, I got an official reply from the French Customer Support on this question (first link in this mail), which gives you an insight of how the staff of WG deals with such questions. I do not want to put Taarl (who replied) in trouble for what he said, especially if some people might consider it as “too soft”, but it might help to understand that the Customer Support cares about it, and how WG handles this sensible question.

Here is the translation of this answer:

Dear players,

After a discussion with Tanatoy (note from ndiver: at this time he was the French Community Manager, now he got promoted to a higher position within the French WG Staff), I would like to give you an insight “on the other side of the mirror”. I’m a team leader at CS, for more than 3 years for those who don’t know me, and have been doing CS in video games for 8 years now. I hope that what you find below will answer some questions and allow you to reflect (think) on this subject. 🙂

First of all, it is important for me to remember that the chat in play is only the result of what users generally do with it. Even if some filters are possible, from the moment that we give everyone the opportunity to express themselves, and even more so, to exchange with the enemy, if only for a battle, you know as well as I do that the potential for negativity is extremely important. I regret to see no more GG nice shot and to see that the players prefer to shout out cheating when they take a bad shot rather than to accept that the other one (who may very well be yourself) played well. The 9.16 update should in this way reduce these toxic interactions between teams in any case, as said, at the expense of positive people (common scheme, even outside video games).

However, it is not a question of getting rid of the most insulting comments, but unfortunately we can only take action a posteriori, once the damage has been done.

An important principle is that the penalty must be applied according to the violation. Thus, in itself, depriving of play someone who has had insulting comments has little educational value. Similarly, someone with antifairplay behavior, applying him a chat penalty has little interest. We must have a certain logic: chat infraction = chat suspension, in-game infraction = game suspension.

Now, regarding the type of comments reported by Ndiver, obviously, a “simple” chat suspension (1 day or 2) is very little, that’s why these comments regularly result in suspensions of more than 10 days (14 days to be exact) and often accompanied by what is called a “final warning” (last warning), which means that at the next infringement, the user will be deprived of chat permanently. This type of sanction is applied regularly and, as Tanatoy has also said, believe that these behaviours are unbearable. We have no tolerance at this level and when we are informed, we have no mercy. Contrary to what may have been written, the fact that a user pays does not exempt him from behaving correctly, and when we apply these heavy penalties, the payment history is never taken into account.

Contrary to what may have been written above, a better atmosphere at stake is an important factor in terms of revenue generation, so we take these incidents very seriously.

With regard to the suggestion of disclosing the numbers, even anonymously, we already anticipate that whatever the numbers are, they will appear to be too few, or too many, depending on each one and will have no representative value in the sense that you will always lack information to put these numbers in their context.

I will come back on to the thread if there is a need or if Tanatoy calls upon me, and once again, I hope that these few words make sense to you.i

See you soon and good Sunday to everyone!