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    Combatting In-Game Harassment: Call of Duty Updates Its Code of Conduct

      TL;DR: Activision Blizzard has updated the code of conduct for its popular game, Call of Duty, to more aggressively combat player harassment and cheating. This includes a robust stance against bullying and derogatory comments based on various personal attributes. The company has also emphasized the importance of player responsibility regarding account activity, specifically regarding the use of cheats and third-party software. Additionally, Activision Blizzard has implemented a new voice moderation system, which, since its beta launch in August 2023, has led to over two million accounts being reported for disruptive behavior and an 8% decrease in repeat offenders. Despite these advances, only a fraction of disruptive behavior is being reported by players, prompting the company to explore ways to encourage more active participation in reporting. These updates are part of a broader initiative to foster a respectful and fair gaming environment in Call of Duty.

    Strengthening Rules Against Harassment and Discrimination

    Activision Blizzard has taken a significant step towards fostering a more respectful gaming environment in Call of Duty by updating its code of conduct. The revision specifically strengthens the "Treat Everyone with Respect" pillar, underscoring the company's zero-tolerance policy towards bullying, harassment, and derogatory comments. This includes discrimination based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, culture, faith, and other personal attributes. The update aims to reflect the company's commitment to preventing its games from being used as platforms for promoting discrimination or violence.

    Cheating Rules and Account Responsibility

    Alongside addressing harassment, Activision Blizzard has also updated its rules regarding cheating. The company reiterated that players are responsible for all activities on their accounts. The use of cheats, including any third-party software, contradicts the values outlined on the company's website and is deemed unacceptable. These measures are part of a broader effort to maintain the integrity of the gaming experience in Call of Duty and ensure fair play among its community.

    Voice Moderation System and Encouraging Reports

    Activision Blizzard reported the initial findings from its new voice moderation system, which has been in beta since August 2023. Since its introduction, over two million accounts have been automatically reported for disruptive behavior, leading to an 8% decrease in repeat offenders. Despite this progress, only one in five instances of disruptive behavior is being reported by players. As a result, the company is seeking ways to encourage more active reporting from its users, including soliciting feedback to improve the reporting process. The voice moderation system is part of a larger initiative to combat toxicity in the game, with ongoing efforts to deploy new features and technologies to address toxic and malicious in-game activities. This stance is firm: toxic behavior has no place in Call of Duty, reflecting a changing culture in online gaming where respect and fair play are paramount.

    Image Credit: Activision

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