‘Save Minecraft!’ Crying fans as Mojang moderates private servers

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Minecraft heroes run away from new moderation rules.

Image: Mojang/Microsoft

Minecraft is on fire. At least that’s how it currently feels if you follow the fandom on social media or some message boards. Part of the community is angry after news that developer Mojang will not back down from a controversial move to open private servers down to moderation and account scale. player bans. Fans are now rallying around the battle cry “Save Minecraft” against what they see as an existential threat to massively popular online builder.

“If Mojang thinks that all skilled coders who are against this system won’t try to embarrass them by breaking this system, I would bet against Mojang,” Minecraft YouTuber, Taylor “AntVenom” Harris, tweeted. “Not a threat by the way. Just call it what it is. #SaveMinecraft. Another player was more succinct. ‘Fuck 1.19.1,’ they wrote in a tweet that has since exploded. Some accuse the studio itself.Others think the change in policy came from Microsoft and blame the tech giant.

Mojang and Microsoft declined to comment.

The hate and the hashtag are all due in Wednesday’s v1.19.1 update for Minecraft: Java Edition. Players can now report each other for “inappropriate chat messages or dangerous behavior”, even on private servers. “The type of behavior that will get you banned is hate speech, bullying, harassment, sexual solicitation, or threatening others,” Mojang said. written in an FAQ.

Reports go to Minecraft moderators who then determine what follow-up action there should be, if any, including player bans. Sounds like a good system, especially for a game marketed to kids that anyone can play. But it’s also a major intrusion into a part of Minecraft which has always been ruled solely by the players.

Read more: MinecraftThe ‘worst’ server was exploited so harshly that mourners could see the future

While Mojang said it won’t monitor online chat or use bots to moderate, players still fear the new tool could be abused to wreak havoc on private servers. It is believed that players could conspire to maliciously report someone on a private server and then get them banned from the entire game. An exploit called Gaslight V2 is a tool that players have used in the past to manipulate game logs. in-game chat, and its developers claim that it still works in the latest version of the game.

“We recognize that Private Servers operate independently from Mojang Studios, and many use this independence to create Minecraft innovations that enrich the community”, the company written last month. At the same time, he maintains that he must compel players to abide by his terms of service no matter where they play. “Every gamer should enjoy a safe Minecraft experience wherever they choose to play.

Mojang previewed the changes several weeks ago, but the backlash is building after the studio made it clear it wasn’t ready to reconsider them. In a comment that has now been rejected more than 1,000 times on the on the Minecraft subreddit, community manager MojangMeesh wrote that while the studio appreciates feedback, “it doesn’t mean that feedback will always change the design principles that Mojang Studios adheres to.” MojangMeesh also called on fans to stop harassing the developers about the issue in unrelated threads and discussions.

“Harassment helps no one: neither the developers who receive it, nor the players who are passionate about an upcoming change”, they wrote. “We want to maintain a constructive and open dialogue with you, and this kind of behavior inhibits that.”

“Bullshit sorry lmao but this whole shit fest has been blown up by your community for about a month straight now and there’s been very, very little real mojang talk to come out of it,” one commenter retaliated. “Simple question, then: how long will a call take? » wrote another. “Since many of us worry about false positives, give us a time frame.”

Bans range from three days to permanent, and while Mojang says all reports and appeals will be reviewed by human beings, some players still worry about edge cases, as well as the freedom to run private servers as they see fit. seems. This led to mods trying to circumvent the new moderation system. A program called “No chat report” has already been downloaded more than 200,000 times. It says it removes ‘cryptographic signatures’ from messages so they are no longer associated with a particular Minecraft Account.

Other community members took a more nuanced approach. YouTuber xisumavoid, who runs his own private servers, argued in a recent video about players not weighing fairly the abuse and predatory behavior that moderation would help catch. “There’s going to be some good coming out of this system,” he said. “People will be protected and I feel like a lot of things in life are a compromise.”

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