Silence is Golden - a new community initiative by Blizzard

A few days ago on the Blizzard blog they announced that after the prepatch that there would be a new silencing penalty, which I thought was rather interesting.
World of Warcraft offers many opportunities to engage with other players in a variety of ways and to help support positive experiences in these engagements we wanted to inform you of a new silence penalty we will be implementing with the pre-expansion patch for Legion. Depending on the type of report, players who are found to be abusive in chat or engage in inappropriate chat behaviors may be silenced from engaging in certain ways within the game.
If someone is reported multiple times with the Spam or Abusive Chat penalty then after an investigation, then they'll receive an account wide silencing penalty. It limits their ability to interact in  the community in the ways listed below:

Silenced Players Are Able to:

Whisper to friends (both WoW friends and Battle.net Friends)
Reply to Whispers from Non-friends
Party/Raid Chat (with Invited Players)
Create Parties and Raids
Talk in Global Channels that have a moderator
Share Quests
Sign up for a pre-made group

Silenced Players Are unable to:

Talk in Instance Chat (Raid, Party, and Battlegrounds)
Talk in global channels that are auto joined (such as General or Trade)
Create Calendar Invites/Events
Send in-game mail
Send Party Invitations
Send War Game Invitations
Send Invitations to Duel
Update a Premade Group Listing
Create a New List for a Premade Group

The first time, they will be silenced for 24 hours. Apparently the penalty will double with each subsequent time they are "silenced" and there is no limit.

Personally, I think this is a GREAT initiative! I was thinking Blizzard may being out some increasing type of censorship after the racist comments during the Dreamhack Hearthstone tournament when TerrenceM, who is a black player, was subjected to a heap of racist black comments in the stream chat channel which was difficult to moderate, and intensely nasty. Here is a link to a sample of some of the nastiness.


Mike Morhaime issued a statement to Polygon, condemning the actions of commenters on the DreamHack livestream. "We're extremely disappointed by the hateful, offensive language used by some of the online viewers during the DreamHack Austin event the weekend before last," president Mike Morhaime said. "One of our company values is 'Play Nice; Play Fair;' we feel there's no place for racism, sexism, harassment, or other discriminatory behavior, in or outside of the gaming community."

And now I see that Blizzard is finally taking it serious. Some people have complained - is this enough?

Well it depends on how much monitoring they are going to do. People complain now that they report people and nothing happens - but I am hoping that with this new thing, it's a lot easier to investigate (from chat logs) and then action can happen.

I think that this sort of punishment is more helpful than a ban because a ban doesn't give you much of an opportunity to improve or regret your behaviour. I think everyone should be given a chance to be a better person. A more cynical person may say that Blizzard would also like to keep collecting your money so rather than ban you, they'll just keep letting you play and subscribe to the game.

Any move that is out to improve the toxicity that the community has become is a welcome one. I often report people for language and offensive behaviour, and I think that now I will feel like I am doing the community a justice by continuing to do so.

What are your thoughts on this?

And here is a picture of Atramedes (for whom you have to kill to get the achievement "Silence is Golden").  Heh heh.

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