The internet can be a brutal place and, if you pay any attention to the chat window in your favorite MMORPG, well, you're likely to see some nasty stuff. There's enough trouble in the real world that having to deal with chat and channel abuse is maybe just too much, you know? Voice chat is my personal hell. I almost never use it. I refuse to be yelled at. It's just not right. For those of us who are sick of listening to that noise, and in attempt to make the gaming world friendlier for everyone, the new silence penalty coming soon to World of Warcraft [official site] might bring some solace.
The penalty requires everyone's participation! If a person is abusive or spammy, report them (and block them too for good measure). If that player is reported by enough people then, following an investigation, their account will lose their voice and chat privileges for 24 hours.
That'll leave them unable to talk in General and other global channels which are auto-joined, send in-game mail, send party invitations, send duel invitations, talk in Instance Chat (that's Raid, Party, and Battlegrounds), and more. They're not entirely silenced, still able to whisper to friends and reply to whispers and such, but basically they can't talk to people who haven't explicitly chosen to hang with them.
The effect is cumulative too. Each time a player is silenced after the first, the penalty will double. To infinity. So the bigger the jerk you are, the less and less time you will be able to be a jerk. Perhaps, if it all works out as planned, I'll give voice chat another shot.
The silence penalty will be implemented in WoW: Legion's pre-expansion patch. Legion is coming to Azeroth on August 30th.