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Riot Games Will Record Valorant Voice Comms To Catch Racists

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Riot announced updates to its privacy policy today that will allow the company to record and evaluate reported player voice communications in its team-based shooter Valorant.

“In order for us to take action against players who use voice comms to harass others, use hate speech, or otherwise disrupt your experience, we need to know what those players are saying,” Riot wrote on their website. “Which is why, moving forward we’ll need the ability to analyze voice data.”

Riot explained the way their new policy works, and stressed that the company will not be actively listening to players, but will only record data if a report is filed.

“When a player submits a report for disruptive or offensive behavior in voice comms, the relevant audio data will be stored in your account’s registered region and evaluated to see if our behavior agreement was violated,” Riot wrote.

Whether or not a violation is found, Riot says the audio will subsequently be deleted.

In an interview with Tech Crunch, Weszt Hart, head of players dynamics, and Chris Hymes, data protection officer and CISO, said Riot is still working on what tools to use to evaluate audio recordings and that the process will likely be automated. Automating moderation can be tricky, and can possibly lead to uneven enforcement; to combat this, Hart and Hymes said human moderation will also play a role as they work to find the best method.

For now, Valorant will be the only Riot game using the new audio moderation tools. Valorant, a first-person team-based shooter, has a reputation for players who use voice chat to hurl abuse. Online, some players say this atmosphere makes it difficult to play the game, while others say they quit altogether over toxic voice comms.

Online, Valorant players are mixed about the news. Some players are grateful measures are finally being taken to curtail the rampant racist, sexist, and ableist abuse perpetrated in the game’s voice chat, and hope that the new moderation method will be brought to Riot’s other flagship games like League of Legends. Others expressed privacy concerns and worried that the moderation system could be used to unfairly report players for words taken out of context.

Audio moderation isn’t yet live in Valorant. Riot said the Valorant team will announce when data collection will begin.
 
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Barakov

Member
Old West Reaction GIF by GritTV

Joke's on them. I don't use voice chat.
 

Sidesalad

Member
I feel sorry for whoever is being tasked with listening to voice chat clips all day. The turn over is going to be higher than Walmart during the holidays.
 

nerdface

Banned
I’m into it. Call me woke or whatever you like. I’m just not interested in hearing any of that noise.

It’s one of the reasons gaming is so great on the Switch. Everyone figures out how to work together, just like the old days. I don’t have to talk to any of you nerds.
 
Remember that 4chan turned the 'OK' symbol into white supremacy because it was bored, and people are stupid enough to just roll with it. I don't go into political diatribes when playing multiplayer games, but I'm not going to walk on eggshells policing my language.

Oh yeah, fuck China, and Communists aren't people.
 

nerdface

Banned
Personal freedom argument resonates zero. Nobody is stopping you from being garbage. Yell racist shit into your mic all you want. Just don’t let mom hear.

You shouldn’t be able to impose yourself on others. At least, that’s how grown-ups do it outside the basement.
 
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CloudNull

Banned
I’m into it. Call me woke or whatever you like. I’m just not interested in hearing any of that noise.

It’s one of the reasons gaming is so great on the Switch. Everyone figures out how to work together, just like the old days. I don’t have to talk to any of you nerds.
I agree.

Valorant is one of the only competitive games that has a mostly nice community without toxic people. Riot has really stepped up their game to try and make it pleasant for everyone. Talk shit in chat and you get chat banned, talk shit in voice coms and voice com is banned and you cant play ranked. You can still flame people all you want but don't be a terrible person and you are fine.

Also, I doubt this targets everyone because bandwidth limits would be almost impossible but it will be the people that get reported often. Riot has been doing a phenomenal job and I support what they are doing.
 
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GeekyDad

Member
I find it interesting just in a legal sense. I mean, it's their game, so like private property, they can limit speech. But it's the users' headsets/coms and they purchased the game(s), so... But I guess since the publisher likely hosts the online service, again, it would likely fall under their purview.
 

ZehDon

Member
I agree.

Valorant is one of the only competitive games that has a mostly nice community without toxic people. Riot has really stepped up their game to try and make it pleasant for everyone. Talk shit in chat and you get chat banned, talk shit in voice coms and voice com is banned and you cant play ranked. You can still flame people all you want but don't be a terrible person and you are fine.

Also, I doubt this targets everyone because bandwidth limits would be almost impossible but it will be the people that get reported often. Riot has been doing a phenomenal job and I support what they are doing.
Well, it only took 10 posts before we got to "nothing to hide" and hypocritical thinking.

Logic problem:
Valorant has a mostly nice community without toxic people.
If the community is already without toxic people, why the need for such radical additional policing against toxic people?
If the developer already has the means and will to deal with toxic people should they arise, then why the need for such blunt-force invasive tools to further this ability?
If the players are already reporting these toxic players, then the community is self-regulating; why the need for the developer to step in with authoritarian policing?

Recording everyone so that the Monitors can weed out the Bad Language Words makes sense until it comes time to put a definition on Bad Language Words. Hunting down racists is fine because, frankly, who can defend racism; people like that are not my concern. My concern comes from the above logic problem: does Valorant have an endemic issue with racism that requires such totalitarian constant monitoring, or not? According to yourself, the community seems to be doing a good job of keeping itself in line, and is reporting such players. So, why the need for such thermonuclear solutions? The "racist" boogeyman isn't enough of a threat to force me to stop applying critical thinking, sorry.

Once this system is in place, I'd wager we'll hear that it's working great, but it requires too much man-power to ensure the communities safety, so they'll have to automate flagging of coms to ensure Riot staff are only stepping in when required. And the end result: all voice coms are automatically recorded and automatically monitored for "red flag" words to save us from the racists... that don't seem to really numerous enough to warrant such a response... ? If I'm right, and Riot move to automation, I wonder: given Riot's owners, and the prevalence of multiplayer games in Asian countries, how long do you give it before "Hong Kong" appears on the automated "red flag" list?
 
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Popup

Member
I appreciate that the delay could very well cause an issue now but, in the future maybe, the software would detect the pattern leading up to the use of a certain words and scramble them, much like text chat prevents it.
 

CloudNull

Banned
Well, it only took 10 posts before we got to "nothing to hide" and hypocritical thinking.

Logic problem:
Valorant has a mostly nice community without toxic people.
If the community is already without toxic people, why the need for such radical additional policing against toxic people?
If the developer already has the means and will to deal with toxic people should they arise, then why the need for such blunt-force invasive tools to further this ability?
If the players are already reporting these toxic players, then the community is self-regulating; why the need for the developer to step in with authoritarian policing?

Recording everyone so that the Monitors can weed out the Bad Language Words makes sense until it comes time to put a definition on Bad Language Words. Hunting down racists is fine because, frankly, who can defend racism; people like that are not my concern. My concern comes from the above logic problem: does Valorant have an endemic issue with racism that requires such totalitarian constant monitoring, or not? According to yourself, the community seems to be doing a good job of keeping itself in line, and is reporting such players. So, why the need for such thermonuclear solutions? The "racist" boogeyman isn't enough of a threat to force me to stop applying critical thinking, sorry.

Once this system is in place, I'd wager we'll hear that it's working great, but it requires too much man-power to ensure the communities safety, so they'll have to automate flagging of coms to ensure Riot staff are only stepping in when required. And the end result: all voice coms are automatically recorded and automatically monitored for "red flag" words to save us from the racists... that don't seem to really numerous enough to warrant such a response... ? If I'm right, and Riot move to automation, I wonder: given Riot's owners, and the prevalence of multiplayer games in Asian countries, how long do you give it before "Hong Kong" appears on the automated "red flag" list?

Riot is trying to make the best competitive experience ever to last a very long time, probably decades. You can see this from their infrastructure they built to their unique anticheat and all the work they are doing for the esports scene. Every single thing they do is transparent and for the community.

What does this all have to do with recording voice coms? The scene is less toxic than most competitive games but there is still room for improvement. People get banned and some people make appeals. Having proof to back up their bans will make it so that people can’t argue they were banned for no reason.

They are not going to start listening for people talking about honk kong in game. Frankly who the fuck talks about that shit in game? Just use discord with your team and you can talk about all the racist dumb shit you want. Also, if China wants to hunt the bad people then use people’s cell phone not in game chat.

I am 100% against China but I also 100% support Riot and what they have and are trying to do with Valorant.
 
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ZehDon

Member
... They are not going to start listening for people talking about honk kong in game. Frankly who the fuck talks about that shit in game? Just use discord with your team and you can talk about all the racist dumb shit you want. Also, if China wants to hunt the bad people then use people’s cell phone not in game chat.

I am 100% against China but I also 100% support Riot and what they have and are trying to do with Valorant.
Everything you're saying boils down "nothing to hide". You'll need to do a lot better than that if you hope to be taken seriously.

And you can't be 100% "against" China and 100% "for" what they do. Your world view doesn't work.
 

Whitecrow

Gold Member
Theres a lot of retarded people on there so if it makes the game more free of these assholes, is welcome, and hugely needed.

Is prople here really worried about china having audio files of them shouting ,loong loong! Behind! ? Really?

If you are so afraid of that you can just not use the fkn audio chat. And let riot get rid of the trash.
 

Banjo64

Gold Member
Theres a lot of retarded people on there so if it makes the game more free of these assholes, is welcome, and hugely needed.

Is prople here really worried about china having audio files of them shouting ,loong loong! Behind! ? Really?

If you are so afraid of that you can just not use the fkn audio chat. And let riot get rid of the trash.
You just used the word ‘retarded’. Your social credit system has taken a hit and you can’t travel via air or rail anymore and you aren’t going to be able to find employment.

Serious, if you think China are going to have access to millions of peoples full game recordings and their only aim is to catch racist slurs then I have some magic beans to sell your retarded ass.
 

CloudNull

Banned
Everything you're saying boils down "nothing to hide". You'll need to do a lot better than that if you hope to be taken seriously.

And you can't be 100% "against" China and 100% "for" what they do. Your world view doesn't work.
You asked for a reason why voice chat recording is needed and I gave you one.

Just because a company is a subsidiary of another does not mean they are one and the same. That’s not how businesses work. Most subsidiaries are responsible for running their own business while reporting their financials to their parent company. Also, Tencent has owned Riot since 2012. If their goal was to listen to random people they would have done it in LoL.

I have no gripe against Tencent except the fact they are Chinese and Chinese companies have shady practices. Lately the Chinese government and Tencent have not been getting along.

I prefer not to get further into politics but I can 100% be against China the government, indifferent to Tenecent and support Riot because of their track record. The world is not black and white and theis nuance to everything, even my world view.
Does anyone use in game chat? Why not use discord?

I use in game because I play solo and am a glutton for pain lol.
 
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nemiroff

Gold Member
Fuck actual real racists. However, this is deeply concerning because everything and everyone is supposedly racist these days. It's as usual a very slippery slope as we see with twitter Facebook and Google censorship.
Even if they try to dance around it, this actually means you're being recorded at all times, and when this turns to policing wrong-think..
I don't use in-game voice comms anyway, but by principle I don't like the way some things are going these days.
 
I knew that China would be the basis of this fearmongering before i even entered the thread.

you guys are fucking paranoid, it so funny to see.

This is a good move if it turns the community less toxic. Games are made for fun, not to hear fucking low lives spewing shit at everyone because their fictional character died.
 
As always, it amazes me how freely people give away their privacy, their dignity, and their autonomy in the name of 'safety'.

One assholes ‘essential liberty’ to say the n word?...or all the other player’s freedom not to be around your dumb ass.

You do have that freedom, and you are free to exercise it any time you like. You leave the game.

The fact that people think that surrendering their voice logs to the Chinese overlords of Riot is a fair compromise for having the chance that they might encounter some completely safe, non-dangerous speech on a fucking video game eliminated just blows my mind. The unadulterated cowardice that demonstrates is really something.

You are pathetic manbabies demanding an extended childhood free of any kind of discomfort. An idiot saying 'the n word' is just that - an idiot. Hearing it isn't going to hurt you. It isn't going to wound you. You will survive. The fact that you'd prefer literal state surveillance to simply blocking and reporting them, or leaving the game, is sickeningly spineless.
 

Whitecrow

Gold Member
You just used the word ‘retarded’. Your social credit system has taken a hit and you can’t travel via air or rail anymore and you aren’t going to be able to find employment.

Serious, if you think China are going to have access to millions of peoples full game recordings and their only aim is to catch racist slurs then I have some magic beans to sell your retarded ass.
What kind of useful info do you think china will get from a game voice chat?? Terrorism plans? America intel info?? My retarded ass is sure that a voice chat will provide 0 usefull government info.
 

Shmunter

Gold Member
What kind of useful info do you think china will get from a game voice chat?? Terrorism plans? America intel info?? My retarded ass is sure that a voice chat will provide 0 usefull government info.
It’s related to moving the window of expectations more and more, inch by inch.
 

Whitecrow

Gold Member
A Chinese made game that injects spyware onto your computer the moment you install it. Yep they're definitely going to focus on fighting racism.
They are not spying your PC. They are recording the audio you send ON THEIR GAME SERVERS, which is optional for you because you can still use other apps they will not spy on. Why is this so hard to understand.
 

Banjo64

Gold Member
What kind of useful info do you think china will get from a game voice chat?? Terrorism plans? America intel info?? My retarded ass is sure that a voice chat will provide 0 usefull government info.
And that’s the limit of your imagination is it? Only terror threats or national intelligence is useful information?
 

Whitecrow

Gold Member
It’s related to moving the window of expectations more and more, inch by inch.
Still, it's unthinkable to me that there will be any usefull info there no matter how much time passes.
If they wanted to spy on your PC, they could have made it with League centuries ago.
And that’s the limit of your imagination is it? Only terror threats or national intelligence is useful information?
They are examples. Still, there wont never be more than enemy positioning information and insults in voice chat.
No matter which kind of useful information we talk about. Anyways, I'm open to be illustrated by you sir.
 
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Shmunter

Gold Member
Still, it's unthinkable to me that there will be any usefull info there no matter the time that passes.
If they wanted to spy on your PC, they could have made it with League centuries ago.
Who’s to say they don’t analyse you’re interests and on sell to advertisers or use it against you in 20 years etc. simple thing privacy, with potentially complex outcomes.
 

xrnzaaas

Member
They are not spying your PC. They are recording the audio you send ON THEIR GAME SERVERS, which is optional for you because you can still use other apps they will not spy on. Why is this so hard to understand.
I was referring to software installed along with the game and masked as anticheat system. I know they've changed how it works and how it's seen since the launch version, but that's only because they got caught.
 
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Whitecrow

Gold Member
I was referring to software installed along with the game and masked as anticheat system. I know they've changed how it works and how it's seen since the launch version, but that's only because they got caught.
If Vanguard is spying, which I dont know but it's very probable, then we are talking about something.

Still I give 0 fucks about it personally. Will they discover that I like milfs with big boobs? Oh man is the end of the world : D
 

xrnzaaas

Member
It's easy to say 'I've got nothing to hide, let them spy on me'. They're not doing this to find out if you have porn on your PC, they're doing this to collect as much data on you on possible to influence your habits and how you spend your money.
 
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