Call Of Duty developers, Infinity Ward, have pledged to "do more" against the racist content players bring to their games. Last night, they tweeted their plans to put more resources in place to monitor and remove racist and hateful content, improve reporting systems and increase the number and severity of bans.
"There is no place for racist content in our game. This is an effort we began with launch and we need to do a better job. We're issuing thousands of daily bans of racist and hate-oriented names. But we know we have to do more - and we are:
- Adding additional resources to monitor and ID racist content
- Adding additional in-game reporting systems to increase the number of bans by hour
- Adding filters and greater restrictions on name changes
- Evaluating in-game improvements to make it easier to report offences
- Increasing permanent bans to root out repeat offenders
"We apologize to our players. This is our commitment to you, our fans, thank you."
Their announcement comes during a time when Black Lives Matter protests are taking place worldwide, making a stand against systemic racism and police violence.
Multiplayer games can be truly awful when it comes to racism and hateful speech. From games like Mordhau, which was dinged for allegedly having - and then not having - plans to put in a toggle to hide women and non-white characters at the same time as having a notably racist community, to Overwatch, which has had to increase punishments for toxicity in the past. And Call Of Duty is no exception - despite existing restrictions and filters, hate speech still manages to slip through. Before Infinity Ward announced their plans yesterday, a fan posted a video on Reddit showing a large number of awful usernames containing racial slurs. Hopefully, with the new resources the developers are putting in place, we'll see a lot less of this in the future. And it's about time.
Unfortunately the statement isn't actually specific about which COD game they're referring to, but it's likely Warzone, the most recent one. Activision have also delayed the upcoming fourth season of Call Of Duty: Warzone, because "now is not the time":
“Right now it’s time for those speaking up for equality, justice and change to be seen and heard."