RIOT clamp down on League of Legends “toxicity” today with bans

22 Jul 2014  by   Paul Younger
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There’s a lot of “toxic” players in MOBAs and RIOT decide is enough is enough in League of Legends and start testing their banning system from today.

League of Legends players are going to have to calm down as RIOT launch tests using a “machine learning approach + Player Support manual reviews” to crack down on unsavoury comments between in the game. RIOT’s Jeffrey Lin revealed the move on Twitter then went on to explain exactly what’s happening in more detail.

A quick clarification on some common questions I’m seeing:

Today is start of tests where we’ll be using a new machine learning approach + Player Support manual reviews to target extreme cases of toxicity (such as intentional feeding, racism, death threats, homophobia, etc) and handing out pretty severe penalties such as 14-day or permanent bans. Players that get permanent bans will see a ban code of 2500 during these tests.

We’ll be testing 1 server at a time in small doses to monitor the effectiveness of the system carefully and minimize false positives. All Riot regions will get the same test at some point in the future. Depending on the results of the tests, we’ll be rolling this system out more permanently on all servers.

In the past, we’ve avoided publicly naming and shaming players; however, we’ve learned in recent months that being transparent is extremely critical to the playerbase’s trust in our systems, so we’ve decided to do a compromise. If players complain about unfair bans for this particular system (so, have a ban year code of 2500), we’re going to be fully transparent and posting the chat logs that resulted in the ban.

Some players have also asked why we’ve taken such an aggressive stance when we’ve been focused on reform; well, the key here is that for most players, reform approaches are quite effective. But, for a number of players, reform attempts have been very unsuccessful which forces us to remove some of these players from League entirely.

In addition, we’ll be talking about this effort in more detail and about another system that will be addressing Leavers/AFKs very severely in the future. We’ll do these in the usual channels like the League forums. I just wanted to mention this briefly on Twitter today in case some players were confused why they see some players getting banned until 2500 year codes.

This is only a test run but we can only hope that these tests are successful. It will be interesting to see how their system copes with any false positives because this could be a complete nightmare if it goes horribly wrong.

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