Toxic Overwatch Players on YouTube Targeted by Blizzard

Over the past several months, Blizzard has been very transparent about the fact that they were [...]

Over the past several months, Blizzard has been very transparent about the fact that they were looking into removing as much toxicity from the online world of Overwatch as possible. With more bans, updated code of conduct, and continued engagement within the game's community forums - Game Director Jeff Kaplan and crew are looking to honor that commitment and it continues with a renewed YouTube hunt.

Every since the team made the initial promise to better the community, the toxicity seen in their online community, especially in competitive play, has reported a significant decline meaning that their efforts are working. But as is the nature with online games, the work is never really done as players feel safe being anonymous and competitive natures soar. Still, a recent developer update video has been posted and it shares the many plans in place to tackle 2018. Here's what Kaplan had to say:

kap is your shield

"As you all know, we recently added the ability for our console players to report people which has been amazing and has shown us really great results," Kaplan said. "We also added warnings for people who were about to get suspended, silenced or banned that their behavior was unacceptable and that if they kept getting reported by other players or noticed by us here at Blizzard that they would get in trouble and that's helped a lot.

"We're very pleased with those results," Kaplan added when sharing that abusive incidents in chat have been reduced by 17%. "On the other hand, player reporting the amount of times that you guys actually report bad behavior is now up 20 percent. We're restoring faith in the system — it's starting to work much better, and it's actually having a big impact on the community. We know those numbers are not as great as they could be. We know that the problem is not solved and things aren't perfect, but it's getting a lot better and a lot of the initiatives that we're doing here at Blizzard are starting to make a difference."

So how are they taking the fight to YouTube and the players seen engaging in disrespectful play there? "We now proactively seek out social media sites like YouTube, for example and look for incidents of very toxic behavior and track down the accounts that are participating in those and action them, often times before anybody's even reported them or they've shown up in any other place. That's just one example of us being proactive that I think is going to make a big difference over time."

The team is very involved in many aspects and the Overwatch crew especially works around the clock to provide new content, fixes, and constant in-game adjustments. As for how the YouTube crusade will go, only time will tell but it is interesting to see such a pro-active approach to protecting the community.